Andy, The Whale

My work family lost a friend and leader today.

I lost a mentor.

When the news was broken to us, I felt a little piece of me break. It was a distinct sound. One of loss, shock and this cavernous piece of my soul closing off. Not with a bang, but a whimper. 

I think it’s hard enough to say good-bye when you know the event is coming, but we were blindsided and the sucker-punch to the gut on New Year’s Eve…well, that was the cherry on this crud-pile of a sundae.

I will never walk through the doors of my office, hearing Andy yell “Woo! Sarah’s here!” 
That ball of sunshine in a squat, funny little man is was not what one expected, but he rarely failed to brighten my day.

He taught me so many things, but the one that stands out in my mind is how Andy showed me just how important it was to do what you love. 
Andy traveled, Vegas being his favorite destination. He loved his family, fast cars, good food and the lure of a great bet. There was so much more to him and all of his quirkiness came flooding to the front of my mind when I absorbed the news. Things you wouldn’t expect to realize that you noticed about a person – it was all so dorky and yet, so very Andy. 
Piles of Mountain Dew. 
Everything Bagel Boopalaches. 
Pho, Bun & Boba.
How much he’ll be missed by Bistro.   
Serenity Now! 

Going into work on Wednesday is going to be hard. Hell, leaving the office today was difficult. This news was hard to swallow and it still feels like a slap in my reality. Cold. Hard. Ruthless.


Fate gets us all.

 

With the new year coming around in a few hours, I couldn’t help but think about the frailty of us all. Here one minute, gone the next.

Yeah, Andy would say “umm…deep?”
[He wasn’t much for serious tones. Actually, more often he was laughing at the tiniest thing.]

I realized that I have so many resolutions for the upcoming year, but one I didn’t have until just today?

I resolve to live every day, loving every minute and regretting nothing. 
At 23 [almost 24], I want to learn how to live. 

This all ties into my healthy-fit-chick journey, I promise. 
Part of learning to live is knowing your own limitations and pushing against them. It also means that you have to learn to love yourself, for all your flaws and greatness. Andy had that balance. He was 5’4″ but larger than life. I want to know what that completeness feels like, and I’m determined to have that in my life. That strength and passion, love and joy…knowing every night that when I tumble into bed, my day was well spent. This is my goal and it goes hand in hand with being spiritually, mentally and physically fit. 

I’ll leave you with something that’s not quite so serious, like Andy – The Whale. Maybe you can understand what brand of awesome he was, and hopefully, you know someone just like him.

Disclaimer: He loved this commercial and when I told him it reminded me of him [several months back], he really LOL’d. Watching it again, it’s still just as funny. 

We miss you already, Andy. I hope that you have plenty of poker chips and a endless supply of Mountain Dew, because anywhere without it just wouldn’t be right. 



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