Bernie has coffee at our office every Monday morning. Well, when he’s not visiting his daughter and grandchildren back east. Bernie with his suspenders and New Jersey accent. Bernie with his grandpa smile.
Bernie’s Lutheran. I work at a Catholic church.
So what’s Bernie doing having coffee at our office every week? His wife worked in our office for years, while Bernie attended and worked at the Lutheran church across the street (I love this about them). Every Monday morning, Bernie would join his wife and the rest of the staff for coffee. After his wife passed away, he decided he still wanted to keep his Monday routine and come to the office for coffee.
Back when I started working here in April, I remember Bernie saying that one of the worst thing about adjusting to life after his wife passed away was eating meals alone. I was struck with his honesty, and how matter-of-fact he was about it. It is what it is. It made me sad.
But his smile makes me smile, and I’ve gotten used to chatting with him during our Monday coffee sessions. Hee always asks about Jake. He even brought me a little angel figurine that used to belong to his wife, and told me it was for Jake. Sometimes I wonder if he’s just trying to slowly get rid of some of the things that might be the most painful to see around the house. Regardless of the why, I thought it was really thoughtful and know it’s something I’ll treasure for a long time.
Bernie went back east for Christmas, and last week was the first time I’d seen him in over a month (if not more). I couldn’t believe how excited I was to see his face come through our door. My heart genuinely felt happy to see him. Some people can bring joy to your life, just by being them.
That is all.