I believe that our lives leave a "smell" behind. Noticeable to those around us. Yeah. A smell. That's
how I visualize it.
At work today, we threw a small going away luncheon for one of my co-workers - Mr. Pat.
Honestly. He's one of the most extraoridinary people I know. He is definitely in my top ten of the kindest people I've ever met. Ever. I've worked with Mr. Pat for 11 years. I've only seen gentleness, humility and integrity from this man. Mr. Pat is "retiring" in another week and moving away to Ohio to be closer to family. And, he is leaving a "smell" behind. A very pleasant smell. I'm certain it will linger for a very long time.
He's poured his life out on others with incredible kindness and goodness. Bus driver and custodian. He's gone about doing a very humble job of driving our day care bus, cleaning the classrooms at the close of business, taking out the trash, trimming our shrubs, pulling weeds, changing light bulbs and cleaning up after us for all these years.
He's not a man of wealth or advanced education or "worldly success." He may never have a building named after him. When he leaves Greenwood later this month, there may be no coverage of his departure in the local paper. No street may ever bear his name. That's what is so great about his life!
He's leaving his mark where it counts most. On people's lives. I love that!
I've heard it said that children are the truest judge of people. If that's accurate, the children in Mr. Pat's life are a only a testament to what I have seen. They absolutely adore him. He's been more than their bus driver. They "see" him, as only children can. They see his character. His patience. His gentleness. His heart.
So, here's the lesson I took away from Mr. Pat today. I'm very sad that he won't be part of my day to day life any longer, but I also learned a valuable truth from the way he's lived his life. I'm becoming more and more attentive to the smell I'm leaving in this world. And, I can tell you this. Mr. Pat has completely set the bar for me.