Experiencing loss

As a younger man worked as a diesel mechanic. I had worked 3rd shift for a mobile refrigeration company. During my time there I had got to know the foreman rather well. Lenny was known as a crotchety old biker who was excellent at what he did as a mechanic and a leader. I was instructed by the other mechanics not to talk to Lenny unless I absolutely had to. I thought to myself, yeah right! After seeing Lenny in action with some of the other guys around me I took the advice. Sit back do my job, be quiet and listen well.
You see Lenny did not care for a single word out of your mouth he believed in action. Those who earned his respect were the people who did their job well. That was it! He would purposely push you to the edge of your skill level and then just a little more to see if he would have an opportunity to give you a hard time. After 9 months of working together Lenny started to talk to me regularly he started taking breaks when I did. It was not long before the old biker stories started to flow.
Lenny had a horrible hitch in his Getty up. He limped so bad your leg would start to hurt if you saw him hobble across the shop on a zero degree day. It took a while to get myself into the comfort zone to ask him “dude what’s up with your leg”? He told me his wife passed away in 1972; it was a rough time they went through near the end. When Lenny’s wife had passed, being in that house was driving him crazy. After getting things somewhat together he took a few months off and went on a long ride. When he came back he worked for a while and took off again. During this Time he had met another woman and they started to get close. He told her he was going to ride up to Alaska and would be back in 3 weeks or so. During his trip a mountain goat jumped off a cut away from a jagged cliff on side of the road. The goat had knocked his bike down crushing his leg. Lenny told me he had laid there for hours before he was found. The people who found him said he was lucky to not have been eaten alive during his wait. After going through the evaluation at the hospital, they informed Lenny that it was possible they would have to remove the leg. Lenny said hell no of course! That evening he final got ahold of the girl he was seeing and told her what had happened. That was the last conversation they ever had took her things and was never seen again.
The most memorable story he told was his wife dying of cancer in the early 70’s he had stayed with her until the day she passed. Near the end he was giving her morphine shots as needed; he described how it was to watch his wife suffer after the morphine no longer helped. He was angry about the treatment he and his wife received from the hospital and doctors. Lenny was a go getter, a definite man’s man true to the term. I am sure the helpless feeling of watching a loved one pass in front of your eyes and nothing you can do enraged him.
I am happy that there is more hope today that most will not have to go through this type of agony. but there is much more to be done!