Last night as I was chatting with my Inked-In friends, my husband came in to tell me some terrible news. The salesman from whom we had leased our car had been struck and killed while crossing the street to get a cup of coffee. Whew. It really threw me. We spent only five hours with the guy one day in June. I imagine I drove him crazy with my negotiating and spouting of money factors and the number of times I sat back and said "no go" and watched him walk off to chat with his boss. But he never lost his cool and was respectful of my wishes to not be bombarded with options I didn't want.
When you spend a few hours in someone's company, you tend to hear some of their life. He was looking forward to his son's wedding in July and laughing over the fact that when you're the parents of the groom, you just nod and smile and do whatever the bride's family says. One of his co-workers later told me that he had been through some health problems, including a kidney transplant.
In the end, I got the price I wanted and we shook hands. I walked away feeling that I had met a man who was one of the decent ones in the sometimes sleazy car-selling industry. I had intended to send him a card in July to congratulate him on his son's wedding. But, as often happens, the whirlwind of life swept me up and my good intentions blew away.
So now I sit and think about how total strangers can touch you deeply. I think about how short life is and how death is often a surprise. I wonder, in this world of online friendships, if people will just disappear one day and never be heard from again. Most of all, I am reminded of how important it is to do what makes you happy, follow your passions, and tell people how much you care for them. All we have is this moment.