Somethings you just don’t expect to see on Facebook and one of those such things happened today. i was taking a brain break at work and as I scrolled down my Facebook feed I found out that one of my friends had passed away overnight. Apparently a heart attack. It took me by such surprise. Here was a gentleman who was just 10 years older than me and…just like that…gone.
Tony was someone who wasn’t easy to forget. I will never forget the first time I met him. I had just moved to Grand Junction and had someone who was interested in hiring me in their insurance office as I had insurance experience. I walked into the office and was introduced to Tony. Tony was African American but what set him apart in this little Colorado town was the fact that he was TALL, like almost seven feet tall. I would later find out that he played professional basketball in Europe. I didn’t get the job and it was a long time until we crossed paths again.
In fact, it was almost six years later and I accepted a position with an insurance agency in Fruita, a town just outside of Grand Junction. Tony had become an insurance adjuster and was stationed out of the office I worked in. Had it not been for him, and his sidekick Jarred, I would have been even more miserable than I was. Those two made me laugh and I always told Tony that it took him a month to remember my name since he always would yell “hey, front desk lady!” if he needed to talk to me. The first week I was there, he offered to get me breakfast but, with his North Carolina drawl, it lost a few letters and became “brefas”. Oil became “ol”, kids became “keeds” and so on. He couldn’t carry a tun but sang at the top of his lungs and the song “Marry Me” never sounded so bad. Friday afternoons sometimes he would go get himself beer for a work happy hour and bring back a shot or two so I could have a cocktail under my boss’ nose (sorry, Troy!).
After I parted ways with the insurance company, we still got together for a cocktail now and then, to catch up and just have fun. I actually saw him in September and had I known that it would be the last time I would have made an effort to make time to see him.
We never know if tomorrow won’t come for someone we care about. Tony was an amazing person with the brightest smile in the room. Tony, you will be miss dearly. God bless you.