It was like any other quiet afternoon–the phone only started ringing once I was in the middle of making supper. Thanks to ‘call display’, I could easily ensure I wasn’t about to speak to a call-center kid selling me magazines. It was, in fact, one of our favored health food stores. We favored it because it was locally owned and run. We knew the owner and the manager, and they were nothing short of great people. It was not uncommon for them to phone to alert us to the arrival of a special order, or even a sale on items they know we commonly purchase.
I answered the phone cheerily half expecting the voice on the other end to ask for my husband (he is the one who makes all the special orders after all), but instead the manager phoned to speak to me directly. He phoned to tell me that the store owner passed away–suddenly–of congested heart failure. Shock and disbelief rendered me a platitude babbling fool. This guy was our age, and he ran a health food store. For us, and many others, he was our vitamin/mineral/supplement guru. It was the ugliest and cruelest of ironies.
While we never really interacted socially, we counted this man among our friends. He was funny, intelligent, and kind. He greeted me with a hug the day he learned my husband and I finally tied the knot, and when I told him about the publication of Survival of the Flirting Impaired he heaped on the praise with a genuine enthusiasm.
He cared about us, and all of his customers as if they were family. When he found out that my dad had a mini-stroke, he went about setting aside spices and supplements that would help my dad. He was so compelled to help that in some cases he gave away products for free. He genuinely tried to heal the world one person at a time.
I know he touched many lives, and definitely helped to improve the health and well being of many people. It is hard to believe that I won’t find him behind the counter of his store, listening to dance music, and talking to his customers about the latest news in health. It was barely a week ago when we took a pass on our weekly Saturday ritual of stopping in for a visit and purchase because our day was just too busy. Now, we have time and the hollow feeling of 20/20 hindsight.
I know it isn’t much, but I want to take a moment to honour our friend Myron from Canadian Nutrition Centre. I want to honour the man who genuinely cared about others, who was passionate about the truth, wellness, and honesty. I want to thank him for sharing his hearty laugh, wise insights, and heartfelt guidance. I want the blogosphere to know that he was valued and will be missed.
I have heard musings about how to measure a person’s legacy. I really don’t have catchy proverbial phrases, but if I did, I would work character, and moral fibre in there somewhere. In the meantime, I think I will smirk as I imagine Myron extolling the virtues of cumin to all the heavenly hosts. “Take it easy” Myron.