A very good friend and I lost an equally special friend more than 5 years ago, a fellow rep that we knew best as Johno. She and I were always reassuring Johno that we had his back and he equally had ours.
It's hard to put into words the spiritual bond that develops when co-workers experience difficult times together and rise above them. We were a work family. Siblings in sales. We competed with each other, celebrated achievements, cried at each others personal struggles and cheered each other on daily.
When Johno passed away suddenly several years ago, his close friends never stopped talking with him. We would admit that yes, while on a drive to an appointment or drinking our morning coffee, we'd chat with Johno. Most of still have his obit in our car, on a mirror at home or in our wallet. He's become a patron-saint-in-the-making for sales professionals.
And funny thing, he never had enough confidence in himself though he was extremely talented. He was the kind of person sales managers loved to rib and he could dish it out, too. But an hour later he'd wonder if there was a hidden meaning to the jesting and that's when he'd call me or one of his other buddies.
So today was special. I had just left a meeting with one of Johno's favorite clients. As I was driving to my next stop I just got the feeling Johno wanted me to call someone for him. I left a message and wouldn't you know it, she had been talking to Johno for the past 2 days on her drives. She called me and after catching up on our work she told me how the timing was amazing. And I said, "well, I guess Johno wanted you to know he heard you."
We always knew when he needed us, but now-a-days he's always there in spirit when we need him.