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Getting Back to Work

Just when I thought I had run out of tears, as I watched Howard’s casket get lowered into the ground, I found more. Seeing co-workers and friends and Howard’s family all hurting brought everything to the surface. I wanted to be there and anywhere but there at the same time.

Saturday night was different. One day after visiting him at a funeral home and only a few hours after the graveside service, I (and a couple hundred of his friends) attended a “celebration of life” gathering for Howard Carey. There were tears, but not as many as before. We ate, and drank, and shared memories of Howard. I had previously met three of Howard’s five children, and Saturday night I got to meet the other two. I also got to meet Howard’s siblings — Jeff, Pat, and Beverly — whom Howard has told me many stories about.

Susie, Howard’s wife, asked me before the gathering if I would be willing to get up and say a few words about Howard on behalf of his work friends. After all the stories Howard has told me over the years, it was the least I could do. I didn’t have anything written down, but had a couple of stories in mind to share when I walked up to the microphone. I was surprisingly calm. It felt good to make people laugh. If I spoke for two minutes, I made it 1:57 before my voice cracked.

Howard was a hard worker, and terribly generous with his time. He stood up for himself, and for others. These are the things I’ll remember about Howard, and things I’ll strive harder to do.

One thing Howard wouldn’t do is sit still for long. Tomorrow, I’ll go back to blogging about computers and video games and the goofy things I find at flea markets. Howard loved reading those posts and frequently mentioned them to me at work. So no more tears, not for now.

Now, as Howard would say, it’s time to get back to work.

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5 comments to Getting Back to Work

  • Deborah Husbands

    Thank you for writing about Howard in your blog. Through your blog I felt like I was with everyone there celebrating Howard’s life. Your words touched my heart and I know it was hard for everyone that worked with him in OKC. I am sure that all of us in different regions that may have talked to Howrd on phone or in person feels the same, because I do. He was such a nice and caring individual. He definitely loved life. Our memories will never be forgotten. Thank you again. Miss you guys.

  • Paul in AZ

    Rob – This is a great tribute piece. I get the overwhelming feeling that Howard was a great inspiration and a great friend.

  • Freda Evans

    This was a great read about what I will call “Howard’s Day” and I hate that I missed it all. I had prepared 36 pepper poppers to bring to the celebration of life. Something didn’t set too well that i had for lunch, so I couldn’t make it. I later reflected on all the laughs Howard & I shared and had looked forward to hearing some others stories about Howard. Reading your blogs really helps and is comforting in knowing others celebrated who he was. He will be missed and I know it’s really hard for his close friends & family. He was surely loved!!

  • David Rowland

    Well said, a life gone to soon.

  • David Rowland

    Thank you for such a moving and insightful piece. A life gone to soon.

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