ENTRY/POEM: Saying ‘Goodbye’ to a True Mentor

Last weekend, I lost a true friend from my work.  As some readers might know, I do work in the recovery field, and it is a job that I truly cherish.  However, I probably wouldn’t love the job today if it weren’t for all the wonderful people that helped get me to where I am today.  The first and only person who gave me the chance to work here to begin with has just passed away.  And I am extremely saddened.  (Since he is no longer with us in life, I will use his name, but still I do feel better only using his first.)

Paul was my boss.  He hired me.  He was a wonderful guy.  I will say this, he was certainly a different kind of guy–unique, to say the least.  He was a very tall, very slender, unassuming, soft-spoken man who held both patients and employees to account when it came to assigned tasks.  However, one would quickly learn that even though he was a stern and strict person, it was only because he wanted us to succeed.

Paul wasn’t a hoarder, but he collected bottles from any place he found them, including the local mall.  Upon entrance to his office, various cans & bottles were strewn all over the place, almost totally empty, save the compulsory last few drops from each one.  Presumably, all of the empties were being collected for their deposit value.  Paul also had a now-famous mini Gumby doll hanging from the side of his desktop computer.  Everyone seems to want the Gumby now as a keepsake since it was a focal point when you walked into the office.968full-gumby-adventures-screenshotDo people remember the Gumbo TV show?



Our Paul

There was something
That could have been said;
That should have been said
Had it not in fact been
For how much we
admired you.

Your years of action
Rendered you with endless
Gentleness;
And like a piercing pigment,
Your voice was uniformly caring.

And when you spoke,
you made us all feel important,
regardless of who we were,
or what we did,
or why we felt that way.

I know every time that
You and I spoke
I was the only person
That mattered to you
in that moment.

Read the rest of my poem here.


I’ll always miss you and appreciate you, Paul…
-Lou

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