Since working for A Clean Cigarette I have met lots of people and became friends with most of them. John was one of those people, he happened to be one of my first customers at the Bay City Mall over six years ago. John must of worked a hard job and he is a big guy maybe 6’2…strong and in his fifty’s. He is from Hale Michigan and he comes in once a month, I have grown very close to John as he is a big sports fan and so am I. We’d often sit around talking about the Lions, Tigers, and how we hate Jay Cutler from the bears..oh my.
John always appeared to be living life to it’s fullest. He and his wife took many vacations, always going somewhere, always doing something. Every time he came in he would have a new adventure to tell me about. They were at the point in their lives where they were going to enjoy it and they did.
He was one of the happiest guys I knew. Whenever John was in A Clean Cigarette everyone was having a good time. He would put everyone in a better mood for the rest of the day, long after John left the building. He was very fond of A Clean Cigarette and made sure to tell everyone he knew about what we stood for. This man truly cares about getting people off tobacco and would send them our way every chance he would get. In my opinion, John has saved many many lives.
One day I see a truck pull up, it had been a while and I was happy to see that it was John, but this time his wife was driving and John was in the passenger seat. I knew something was off, John’s wife walks in without him and gets the usual explaining to me John has cancer and is very ill. I tell his wife “I’m very sorry to hear that” and decided to walk her out to the car so I can say hi to John. My heart sank. A man who was once a big guy was now half that size, withered away. I talk to him for a brief moment telling him “it’s going to be okay” even though I knew that it wasn’t.
The truth is, I didn’t know what to say to John, so I start talking about the Lions and how they were going to make the playoffs.. of course we both had a laugh. But at no point in time was I able to say anything about him having cancer, I didn’t want to remind him about reality. John is from Hale so the only appropriate thing for me to say before they left was “give em Hale”.
Weeks went by and John’s truck pulled up, but John was not in the truck. It was his wife coming in to ask if she could return these filters. With a lump in my throat I return the filters knowing what she was going to say next. John had passed away, normally his wife did not say much, but this time she stayed for a little while to share a few laughs and tears, remembering John. Before she walks out I give her a hug and let her know to stop in again.
Life is so short, John found out he was very sick and a few short months later he was gone. In one moment it can all be taken away. If you knew you were going to die a day from now, a week from now, a month from now. Would you do things differently? If the answer is yes, then what are you waiting for?