Like any other day…
Yesterday.. a woman was walking into where I work (she worked there too), had a heart attack, fell in the parking lot, and died. She was 54. Now at first it didn’t effect me any (if at all) because although I’ve seen her around, we had never met, never spoke, never interacted. But this morning, for some reason, I couldn’t get her out of my mind. Why did she die so suddenly? Did she have plans for when she got out of work? Errands to run, house to clean? Did she have a vacation coming up that she had been planning months in advance? Was there chicken in her sink, thawing for dinner?
Never have I wanted to cry for someone I had never met and never has a random persons death had such an effect on me. I grew up in the Bronx, people die everyday! But this woman, who woke up like she did every other day, brushed her teeth, picked out her outfit, got dressed, came to work and died in the parking lot, she made me realize that life is SO SHORT, and that any of us can go at anytime. We shouldn’t spend our lives living for other people, we shouldn’t settle for less because it fits into society’s scheme of how things should be done. We should be doing what makes us the happiest (within the confides of the law obviously). We should be experiencing everything we possibly can and enjoying ourselves, without hurting others. I’m not saying we should quit our jobs, cause we all have bills. But if your job isn’t making you happy, then while you’re still working there, maybe you should be searching for a job that will! I’m not saying have sex with everyone or cheat on your partner or spouse, but if you aren’t happy in that relationship, find what made you happy in the first place, or leave…
This woman who died, we maybe have rode the elevator twice together in our lives. It could’ve possibly been more and I never noticed because before yesterday, she was just another face. And now, she’s forever my realization. She’s the woman who helped me learn just how important and precious life really is. Now I want to see more of the world. I want to try the foods I said “Ew” to before. I want to experience more, be apart of more, explore, question, help, and take risk. Cause it can all be over just like that. We had a team meeting today, and she wasn’t brought up one time. They talked about numbers and Hot Dog sales, but no mention of this woman who didn’t matter to me yesterday but meant sooo much to me today.
When my stepfather died of a heart attack, I knew how suddenly life could end but for some reason, I just accepted it as Gods plan. It didn’t change how reserved I kept my life. When my cousin was killed a few weeks ago, I cried, got angry, made my peace with what happened, and again put it all in Gods hands while still keeping my life reserved. But when I watched the ambulance work on Maribeth (I could see it from my office window and found out her name in a brief email sent out at the end of the day), it had me wanting to get up and walk out of work and enjoy the weather. It made me want to go to dinner and order chicken wings and shrimp and lasagna with the side of fries. I don’t want a heart attack obviously, but I want to do what makes me smile while I have the time to do it. Maybe the small stuff isn’t as important. I’ve become so worried about what others think that I’ve began to focus on certain spots rather than the whole picture.
I couldn’t tell you why I wanted to write this. What came over me that I had to write about the sad death of a stranger. What I can tell you is that I was overcome with sadness, all the while feeling grateful for all I have and the time I have left. I’m so sorry for what happened to Maribeth yesterday. But because of it, it really has made me appreciate so much. Life is short. We all could go a number of ways at anytime, with so much left to do. So, AFTER you read this, do something that makes you smile. Fix something you thought forever broken. Laugh harder at a joke. Cry louder during a sad movie. Order dessert first. Get both pair of jeans. Most importantly, live. Live like there’s no tomorrow.
5 thoughts on “Maribeth”
Maribeth would have loved what you wrote. I’ve worked with her for many years. She was a great person who loved life. She was so excited about retirement, as she had a year & a few months left. She will be missed. RIP Maribeth
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Thank you for capturing the person Maribeth was. She is smiling and enjoying how you’ve captured what an amazing lady she was. First and foremost a mother of two wonderful children, a sister and an amazing and loyal friend. She was kind to everyone, patient and could be extremely funny and would surprise people with her quick whit an unique way of looking at life. She was planning some amazing trips for the future and I had the pleasure of traveling with her and more recently her sister and some other friends to some beautiful places. Though she will not be with us in person, we’ll carry her in our hearts as we venture to beautiful places. Thank you again. You’ve got a wonderful talent.
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Your story made me cry. You may not know Maribeth but I do. She was my co-worker and friend. Seems like you did know her though because all the things you tell us we should do, Maribeth did. She did have vacations planned. She always did. She was always so excited about making plans for a trip. She laughed at silly jokes. She loved to sing even though she said nobody wants to hear her. But she sang anyway. She loved making memories with her children and family and friends. She was a kind, sweet person and she should be here to make more of those memories but just so you know she lived her best life always and like you I will try to remember to live mine. I have a vacation planned with my family to Maine because Maribeth loved it there and told me I would too. I will think of her when we are there and whenever I am doing something she loved. Thank you for your story. Maribeth would have loved that too.
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The loss of her is felt throughout the agency. And it is happening too frequently to our younger members. I think of Rich Smullen and Garry Reinhart…
I arrived with items for my own retirement party just before the rescue vehicles that came to try to help her. Could not have a more poignant and stunning reminder…. Deep condolences to her closest friends.
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My cousin. She always smiled and gave me a hug! What a honor to have in my family!