Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Remembering Calvin Blossom

            I’m a young author (in terms of experience) and so much of what I do is geared around building a platform and creating an audience: Facebook, Twitter, this blog, at its core it’s about self-promotion. I hope that I do it in a manner that is rewarding for people and not annoying. But today, I wish to put all that aside and reflect for a moment on a man who was quite the opposite, whose every thought and behavior was geared toward promoting others: Calvin Blossom.

            Calvin worked as a security officer at my business, my day job. It’s with a heavy heart that we mourn his passing. Calvin excelled in his profession, even having won national recognition, but that’s not what he will be remembered most for. Calvin lived not so you would notice his presence (though he certainly noticed yours--more on that in a minute) but lived in a way that you noticed his absence.  He went around doing everything that needed doing, whether it was in his job description or not.

            He was much like the center on the offensive line of a football team. It’s not a glory position, there are no sponsors or sports drink promotions for centers, but without him the core of the football team falls apart. That was Calvin. He felt that his job was not just to preserve the work environment, but to preserve the people who worked there. He knew everyone by name and for many of us, knew about our spouses and children. I said he noticed our lives. It was common for him to hold not only the outer door open for someone but follow them up the stairs to open the inner door as well and you didn't even realize he was there. That's just one example of many. He cared for your well-being, not just as an employee, but as a person, and that’s not in a job description, but it is how I describe Calvin.

            I can’t think of one person who touched more people on my work campus than Calvin did. He was the most genuine and sincerely kind person I've ever known.  As I write this, I keep thinking I need to say more, I need to go on about him and list more and more affirming adjectives and accolades, but the truth is they would all fall short of the greatness of this man. He would be the first to downplay all that I've said, and not so we would look at him and marvel at his humility. He wasn't wired that way. What he did for all of us was not an act or to further an agenda, it was a way of life, an identity.

            Sir, you have more than earned your place in the heavens. Our world is a little darker and a little more grim without you in it, but your memory will burn brightly. I’m sure you won’t heed what I’m about to say. I’m sure you’ll go on watching over us as you always have, but I’ll say it anyway: rest in peace, my friend.


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