I met Ron when I was 19. I was young, cocky and thought I was going places. Ron was in his 30’s and working shift work at 3M. I had just started working at 3M and was pretty sure my time there was going to be short. There was no way, I would be stuck in a factory. Over the next few years, Ron was a good friend to me. Sometimes painfully truthful and sometimes patiently supportive.
I remember standing on a mezzanine at work, watching an afternoon crew coming in and staring at this beautiful woman who had just been hired.
I said to him “I don’t know Ron, there is something strange about her”. Ron laughed at me and just said jokingly “ Oh God Corey, stay away from those!". 18 years later, that woman is my soul mate and wife. He had predicted it he later told me after I said that.
Over the years, as I moved off shift work and into a straight day job, then into various leadership roles, Ron and I drifted a bit. He left 3M and started his own business and I left 3M and went to Wills, then Trillium. But whenever we met up, it was like old times, laughing and reminiscing. He’d tease me about my new found love of running, cycling and swimming.
His last few years were complicated, as the disease and medication impacted him. I struggled as a friend watching him change but I tried to remember who he was as my friend. A month ago, when I found out he was permanently hospitalized, I tried to visit him weekly. Conversations were short with him drifting in and out of sleep.
When the news came to me, I was expecting it, but also shocked. So I did what I usually do when things are bothering at me. I went for a run. I talked to him. I thanked him for being a friend and spoke about some of my memories. I don’t know if he heard me, but I’d like to think so.
See Ya Ronner…