Friday, October 19, 2007

Happy Days

Six months ago today, in my State of my Cancer Post, I made this statement.
I have also developed a selfish need to see other people be happy. I find ways to do this without even thinking.
Today I report on three more examples of this which occurred during those six months.
It is unusual for me see such emotional happiness.

Happy Person #1.
Last night, the people I work with had a going away party for me and another individual. The party was hosted by a colleague who had just finished working five weeks of a refueling outage. During the outage he worked at least 6 days each week and more than 12 hours each work day. He was also assigned 8 projects to manage, more than half of those being thrown on him when two other PM's decided to retire within one week of the outage's start. The few times I saw my friend during the outage he looked emotionally and physically
spent. I worried about his health, especially knowing some of his medical past.

The party was a pot-luck affair, with the highlights being
a dozen lobster tails (purchased by the other departing worker) that we marinated and grilled, and my grilled beef tenderloin. As dinner was served, our host stayed back and I served him last. As I gave him his plate he very emotionally thanked me and man-hugged me for cooking the meal and organizing the party. Having his friends in his home meant an enormous amount to him, but as he was still recovering from those five grueling weeks, he would not have been able to do it himself. I was overwhelmed by my friends gratitude.

Happy Person # 2. My teammate for The Big Pig Gig Barbecue Contest had requested and expected to tag along with me and watch me prepare the barbecue entries. But about two months before the contest I told him that if he was on the team, he was going to cook. I assigned him to barbecue the ribs using his own techniques and recipes. I was completely hands off.

On the day of the contest, my teammate arrived at my home earlier than I expected. He said he was so excited that he couldn't wait and he had been looking forward to the contest for weeks. We had a great time working as a team that weekend, and I really appreciated having him there to help and carry his share of the load. Following the contest he told me again how much he appreciated being on my team and also said how much it meant to him that I insisted he do it all himself even though he only has a left arm. I had never thought otherwise. My teammate's ribs also scored far higher than my ribs did in my previous contest.

Happy Persons #3 & #4:
My wife's friend (a youngish widow) and my co-worker (a youngish widower - he used to be a miserable little SOB) met at my first ever Smoke Day party. There is very little chance these two would have met otherwise; considering their homes are 50 miles apart and he works 200+ miles from her home. This was not a set-up, I thought my co-worker was in a relationship when I invited him to attend the party.

Following the party, I learned of a mutual attraction between these two and provided enough help (the correct phone number was provided and I insisted that he call her - completely out of character for me) that they started dating shortly thereafter. True love was not far behind. This Wednesday they were engaged to marry. She has nicknamed me Fate.

Fate, divine intervention, serendipity or the hand of Buddha (as my Indian friend genuinely believes); it was some force other than me that made these people happy. My cooking is not that good and I tirelessly protect my reputation as a curmudgeon. But I am thrilled to have witnessed the emotions of my friends.

Oh yeah, 3-1/2 years and still cancer free.

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