Today I received news no one wants to hear. Snowmaggedon claimed a long-time friend of mine. I first met Kent Bergren when I started working at Illinois Bell. He and I were fourth-floor buddies, me in General Applications, he in Payroll. Our careers crisscrossed over the years, we moved to different departments, different buildings, different cities, but always seemed to come together again. I went to his wedding and his eldest son’s christening. We were in the same department when I decided to retire in 2008, and he helped throw the farewell party, complete with a homemade game for me to use to remember all the years with Illinois Bell, Ameritech, Ameritech Applied Technologies, Ameritech (again), SBC and finally AT&T, all without ever having to polish up a resume or head on a job search, through the wonders of divestiture and merger.
He went out to shovel snow. Felt pressure in his chest and died. He was fifty-five. I hadn’t seen him in years, but he was always fun, enthusiastic and friendly, upbeat and ready to work on any problem.
It’s hard to think of the world continuing without him.