Today has been a very sad for me.
I like to run in my lunch breaks, in fact, I almost insist on it. On the rare occasion I’m not running I can be found in the gym stretching the life out of whatever part of my body is hurting. More than likely though, I’m out running.
Sometimes I have a running buddy but other times, like today, I’m out with my earphones in, singing away whilst plodding along. No matter what route I take though I always have to run back up the Glasgow Road. It’s not exceptionally steep, it’s not even that long really, but it’s always there and it’s always at the end.
Something else that’s always there is a lollipop man. I’ve been referring to him as ‘My’ lollipop man for quite a while now. He is my focus for keeping going on such a horrible stretch of road. I tell myself ‘just get to your lollipop man and it’s flat from there’. And when I do he is guaranteed to have a smile and a wave waiting for you. A big smile, huge. His whole face smiles. He’s actually become part of my lunch time routine and he’s one of the reasons I insist on taking my lunch at the same time everyday. (Any later and he wouldn’t be there).
So, today, when I was struggling up the road in the unbearable heat, my focus was on him.
But he wasn’t there.
In his place were several bunches of flowers. My heart sank. I stopped and read the cards – many saying the same thing, feeling the same as I did. He wasn’t old, he didn’t appear to be of ill health. Admittedly I had never stopped and asked his name or exchanged more than a few words but he had become such a solid part of my daily routine.
I later found out that it was a heart attack. He passed away at the end of last week. He was the uncle of an old neighbour of mine. Perths a small place.
It’s strange how quickly you can get used to something when out running. My lunch runs will now have that little something missing. He will be sadly missed.