Sounds like a weird thing to post about, but this event caught me off-guard, made me sad, and evoked for me the movie "It's A Wonderful Life"
Having lived in the same neighborhood for 30+ years, we took some things for granted, like our mail carrier. Our mailman was Jimmy. He was almost toothless and he had an errant eye, but he'd always stop and chat with us.
He knew more about us than anyone else. He was there when we signed for certified mail from the IRS, delivered college acceptance notices, liberal magazines, conservative magazines, doctor bills, solicitations from the Sierra Club, and saw our kids grow up--and eventually delivered postcards from them from various cities and countries.
We get our mail in late afternoon, but when he saw a check from one of my clients, he'd make a special trip to our door so I could get the check deposited that day. I never asked him to--he just did it.
And he always had a biscuit or two for our dog Nessie.
We, as a culture, have lost so much in terms of a sense of community, but Jimmy's death to me is a tribute to that outmoded value. When he retired, we wished him well and gave him a small gift. He had taken two busses to our town and back to do his job every day, and we were glad he didn't have to do that any longer. But that was just a few months ago. He retired, and six months later, he died.
I mourn his death today, not because he was particularly special, but because he was an extraordinarily nice man and a part of the fabric of our community.
RIP Jimmy C.