In the supermarket yesterday, I watched a young man at the till flow care to everyone crossing his path. He shone with loving energy, lifting all those around him and crossing paths with him sparked a memory.
It was at the turn of the 21st century and my then-husband and I ran a courier company. He had been taken long term poorly a few months before and I was turning to an agency to supply temporary drivers. The business was run from home and as we lived in the countryside, the vehicles were parked behind the barn. One morning, I returned home from the school run to see a car parked on the verge outside and a chap waiting at the gates. My heart sank.
He was built like a brick outhouse, battered, covered in tattoos and there was no trace of a smile.
I raised my hand in greeting, parked round the back, whilst thinking how quickly I could source another driver as I had urgent runs on the books. Taking a deep breath, I walked back down the drive, where everything shifted in seconds. As soon as I got close to his energy, all I felt was kindness and I started to smile at him.
‘Hello, I’m Jane’ as I stuck my hand out.
‘Tommy’ he replied and a smile started to shine across his face.
He was a hard worker and physically fit as he boxed in his spare time, which explained the lumps and bumps and small parts of him that were missing. He hit the ground running and jobs were completed with lightning speed. I quickly learned that he just got on with things and I needed to dig a little for details. When some clients made bookings they were light on specifics, as there were extra charges levied for additional boxes, especially when stairs were involved. Time is money. Tommy cracking on thought nothing of doing extra work and did not complain. I gently got around this by getting him to share details so that I could charge clients accordingly and pay him bonuses.
Other ‘happenings’ made us giggle in retrospect…
‘Tommy, how are you getting on?’
‘Are you at junction 5 on the M4 right now?
There was a pause.
‘What the hell!!’
‘I have just had a phone call.’
‘Tommy, you’re breaking the speed limit.’
‘I’ve got my foot down to reach ‘so and so’s’. How did you know?’
‘My phone number is on the side of the van.’
We sorted that one out over a chat and a cup of tea in the garden that evening.
My memories of this special soul are him getting back early some days and not rushing off home, but pausing to be with my husband who was barely functioning, and Tommy would sit talking to him softly. Emily was completely at ease with him and he always took an interest in what she was painting and creating. For me, I could rely on him totally and it was not hard to see why his family adored him.
The beauty of Tommy. <3