at the loss of a dear friend.
I blogged about him last Fall in this post. What I didn't talk about in that post was how I knew Ed.
13 years ago I was working for a county Office of Education and my boss did some grant work with 3 of her peers. One of them was Ed's wife, Suzanne. We worked many weeks on a "train the trainer" curriculum for mentors of beginning teachers. Lots of long hours, but lots of good memories. I created all the materials/handouts from charts and notes and chicken scratch that the "brains" (Suzanne, my boss and 2 other ladies) had created during work retreats and through faxes/emails. But we finally finished all of it and headed to Sacramento for the presentation.
Ed showed up with Suzanne on the first morning as we were setting up. He looked over all the materials and decided he wanted to see if I was interested in coming to work for him. It seemed he was on the start-up team for some new fancy place that was intimately involved with the deregulation of California's electricity markets. I smiled politely and chuckled because I really thought he was just being nice and making conversation with the grunt worker.
Plus I knew NOTHING about electricity. I typed fast. I knew how to make a pretty mean Powerpoint presentation. I was detailed oriented and extremely organized. But that was it...and none of it had anything to do with a Megawatt.
A couple of weeks after our presentation my boss received a call from Ed. Apparently he was pretty serious about the job. She encouraged me to apply and see what happened. I faxed my resume to the individual scheduling the interviews and was delightedly scared when I got an interview the next week. I never even saw Ed before I was offered a job the following week with an entirely different department. As a matter of fact, I worked there an entire month before I saw him. But when I did he shook my hand and smiled that wonderful smile and welcomed me. He chatted with me for a bit and asked how everything was going and offered up any kind of help I might need for anything.
It was the start of a wonderful friendship.
It was 2-1/2 years before I would finally work directly for Ed. He was giddy when I showed up in his office for my first day. And I was just as happy to be part of all the excitement...in the middle of things...in the control room. It was huge for me and Ed was always there to explain things, offer a few kind words and pile a couple dozen work orders on my desk. He encouraged me to pursue a bigger role in the control room and I dove in. After I jumped through all the hoops and was finally offered a position in the Operator-in-Training program, my biggest supporter in all of this was Ed. He was a constant figure for me and was delighted at my excitement, even as his own career there came to an end. I cried the day he left.
And I find myself crying again. But this time the pain is deeper and more permanent. I shall miss this man greatly. He was a wonderful soul, full of compassion and generosity. It wasn't always easy for him to express his thoughts and feelings through words, but his actions spoke volumes. He was my mentor. He was my friend.
I will miss you, Ed.
Until we meet again......