I think August Called September

The universe spent most of August screwing with me. Between the car incident, and the wedding incident, and the my stupid self incident and the insane amount of hours I worked, August pretty much sucked (fyi, the hours are still insane). I was hoping with the turn of the calendar I would see a change in my luck as well. Not so much. If you read this, you know yesterday was my anniversary. The day started out fine. We knew we wouldn't see each other for more than 10 minutes the entire day but it was okay. Raoul came to visit me at work flowers and children in tow. It was a nice break.

Around 9:15 last night my day went from being a regular ol' day to being right out of August. I was hanging out in the pharmacy (I work there on Tuesday's) munching on my weekly dosage of gummy bears and one of our patients came in. I knew who she was immediately and I knew why she was there. She came in to tell me her father, my favorite customer, had died.

Eleven years ago, when I was a senior in high school, I needed a job. I heard the pharmacy was hiring and I asked the manager if I could apply. She asked me how old I was, how often I wanted to work, and then hired me on the spot. It wasn't long before I met George. He was the first face I put to a name. He was a dirty old man who had the ability to make people cry at the drop of a hat. Pharmacists and technicians were scared of him. They would hide in the corner when they saw him coming. They didn't know how to handle him. I really loved waiting on him. He was the first customer to notice I was pregnant with P and asked, very loudly, "What the hell did you do, Stephanie? (My name is not Stephanie and he knew it.) You went and got yourself knocked up didn't you. Well, I hope the sex was good because now it will suck for the rest of your life." Then he took my hand and winked at me, and whispered how happy he was for us. When it was apparent I was having another, he said "You got yourself knocked up again, huh? Nice fuckin' job." He called my manager a washed up old hag and told customers in line to trust her. She fought back, calling him senile old fool and telling him to get the hell out of her store. He would smile and go about his business. I loved that loud, dirty old man and his dirty old man jokes.

About two years ago, he started to go downhill. It started slowly and then things got bad fast. He started to forget when he filled medication. He would stock pile insulin and needles but forget for months to get his blood pressure meds. He would get upset with other techs and would only work with me. Eventually, he stopped coming by himself and started coming with his daughter. We got his meds under control and he did better for awhile.

January 2007 I decided to leave the provider side and head over to the manufacturer / consulting side. I still worked at the pharmacy 2 days a week and George made sure he came in only on those days. But one day, George didn't come. Only his daughter came. I knew that couldn't be good. He couldn't live alone anymore, his Alzheimer's was too bad. He needed round the clock care. George would come visit with his daughter on Sundays when she would pick up her meds and I could tell it wouldn't be long. He was loosing weight, he was confused a lot.

I wasn't surprised when I saw tears well in Elizabeth's eyes last night as she said the words I was expecting to hear, "Dad is gone. I thought you would want to know." I left the pharmacy and cried quietly in the bathroom for quite a while. It felt silly crying for a man I never know outside of the pharmacy walls but I did anyway. I cry know as I type this post. He was a good man with a kind heart and he made my days fun.

Good bye George. I'll miss you.


Tiffi33 said...

oh no!
I totally get that..some people have a way of making a place in our lives no matter when we see them..
In my business (hairstylist) you get to know people in a similar way...you are doing a personal service, giving them life saving medications...regularly.

I have a soft spot for gruff old men too..heehee...

George is in a better place..when he is no longer confused and sick...cliche, but I thinks its true!

Aunt Becky said...

Sometimes people touch us in ways we never know.