We lost our friend Peter.
I never really knew Peter until about 10 years ago when he was hired at my company. I knew his family. I knew who he was. But I did not “know” him. At first I was a bit intimidated by Peter. He was a seasoned executive. Confident, calm and certain of himself, Peter was a serious businessman and I was not sure how we would mesh?
Very quickly I discovered this man would become much more than a co-worker, but one of the best men I have ever known.
During this period, my family was going through a very difficult time and I was distracted personally to say the least. As I attempted to separate work from home, Peter was the person I was spending most of my time with and, naturally, he learned all about my life. What Peter did not know was that he was quickly becoming my soundboard whether he liked it or not. What I did not know, but quickly learned, was the incredible character and compassion that this ‘stranger’ possessed and just how much he would help me during these tough times. I can only pray he knew that?
While too young to be my father and too old to be my brother, Peter and I shared a special bond. Our friendship was extremely unique. He could give me smart advice like my Dad, but also make an inappropriate joke like a best buddy. Our friendship was perfect.
Also, during these early days with Peter, I uncovered his incredible generosity. Peter’s generous and giving spirit was on display each day I was with him. Peter was generous in every sense of the word; generous with his kindness, generous with time, generous with his knowledge, and certainly generous with his wallet. As a very proud father of four himself, Peter knew I was being challenged at that time and needed a lot of help to get through it, and treated me like a son.
As we grew closer and spent many great times together, it was clear that Peter loved talking about one subject more than any other; his family. Not just his wife of more than 30 years and their incredible children, but his brothers, sisters, his Mom and Dad. I often would mock him when he would start to tell a story I had already heard by cutting him off and finishing it for him. He loved the ribbing.
Many may not realize but Peter was a sentimental and emotional guy too. Despite the macho, ‘team-Captain’ persona he gave off, he was a softy deep down. After a bad day or a difficult situation I would frequently receive an encouraging note or text always ending with…
“Luv ya, P.”
Those little reassurances let me know he was in my corner no matter what, and I will never forget that.
Over the coming days (weeks, months and years) I am confident you will hear similar stories and memories of Peter. I sincerely hope his legacy lives on with these stories because if Peter knew about anything in this world, it was how to be loyal. Loyal husband, dad, son, brother and friend.
I just hope he knew I was always in his corner too?
Thank you for everything, my friend.
‘Luv ya’ too buddy