In memoriam, saying goodbye to a great collegue.

in #memoriam7 months ago

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Yesterday I got a phonecall from my teamlead. She called and told me that she had some really bad news.... A collegue of mine has passed away during his holiday. I was shocked and full with disbelieve....couldn't believe what she was saying, but imediately thunder striked me and I realized the message. Herman (my colleque) had passed away during his travel to his holiday destination.

he became unwell while driving, his girlfriend was able to stop the camper along the road and call the emergency services. They got there quickly and tried to resuscitate him but without success.

I was really stunned .... He never had anything ... Never sick, no weird ailments ... As it turns out, you are not in charge ...

Herman and I have known each other for 20 years. I met him on an assignment I had with a government agency. He worked there and I was hired there. When I first met him I knew right away that it was a great guy to work with. We had the same humor, the same way of providing service to our customers.. We just had a click. Over the years I think I have worked with him for about 12 years, not all at once but in the 20 years I know him we have worked for about 12 of them. We did several different projects which all where quiet critical for the agency. So we made quiet some hours, even at night. But things were never a problem for us, all in favor of the 'client'.

I remember the first year, he was my supervisor / projectmanager and we had to roll out a new operating system on all computers in the whole country for the company. The techniques weren't as good back then as they are now so we did a lot on location. We had a team of engineers whom went to the location. One night at about eleven o'clock Herman phoned me, there were some problems at the other side of the country. If I could jump in my car and drive to the location to support our engineers.
I asked him if he was kidding, but he wasn't so I told him I would go of course. So I drove about 200 KM. When I arrived the local people of that office were angry with us because things didn't work as they supposed to , they told me they would close the office and will be back first thing in the morning. Imagine me just drove 200 KM and then they told me that I cant solve the problem...

I called Herman and he told me that he would appreciate it if I will be back there first thing in the morning (so about 3 or 4 hours later). I didn't had any sleep so I parked my car at a gasstation and slept some hours next to the truck drivers. At that moment it was really terrible lol, but we did the job and solved the problem. We'd still talked about it for years... That was the way we worked, doing everthing we could to stick to the planning and to satisfy the client. And Herman was one of the few people close to me of which I knew he would do exactly the same for me...

Other projects we did were also across the whole country. So often we took a hotel and after work we went to the hotelbar. We had some great nights and I have some great memories....

On memorie we will never forget, including my wife, was our holiday in spain. Herman and his family were at the same time in Spain as we were. so we agreed to spend a few days together. We spent a lot of beachdays together, just zippin some beer, talk about work and life... He worked hard but het also lived life to the fullest. Enjoying every single day.

At some point he asked me if we would rent a boat together, in Spain, to go on sightseeing by boat. So we did, we rented a big boat with to much horsepower :)... At first the day was great untill we had to go back. We saw a lot of boats entering bays and leave the open sea, but we had to go back to the boat rental company so we sailed on.

Herman was the only one with a boatlicense so I wasn't allowed to sail the boat, but of course I did ;) ... At some point Herman was sailing and I noticed a strange way of the waves so I yelled at him to turn left more to avoid thos strange waves, but it was already to late. The boat hit a rock just below the water. The boat shot up and the children flew across the boat. It was an intense experience. Fortunately no one was injured, only the boat was severely damaged, just like the engine. Herman was in a kind of shock of the blow, he was completely speechless. I took the helm and eventually sailed the boat back to the harbor. We explained everything to the rental guy and had to pay a deductible, but that was it. We were lucky...

After all these years we stil talked about it and had great laughs about it...A big adventure for both families...

Now Herman is gone, never a fun or work moment again with him. Three year ago he called me and asked if I would join him in a new team for a big infrastructure project. And of course I did. So until yesterday, I still worked with him and enjoyed his presence...

The team will never be the same, Herman was a centerpoint in the team... I will mis him like crazy... My partner in crime :) Buddy for life.....

Take care,

Peter

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Sorry to hear you lost such a good friend. Sounds like you had some great times together and those memories are valuable.

We truely had Steve, it keeps me busy all week....

GOODMORNING peter my condoleances for your loss. And in these covid times saying goodbye is totally different aswell. I wish you strenght. And hope you and the family are well.

Hi Brit, thank you very much... Me and the family are doing fine, and you? This week has been sad, tuesday we will bring him the last respect ....

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