Disclaimer: I’ve had a glass of wine tonight and considering A) events of the past few days and B) I’m a bit of a cheaper date these days than I ever was in my life, I don’t think it’s unreasonable that I’m crying right now.
For the past month, my friend Sonny has been posting health updates on our mutual friend, Laura. Although I know them both from eBay, I don’t think I’ve ever met Sonny in person. She was one of eBay’s first employees, along with Uncle Griff and worked remotely the entire 6 years I was there.
But Laura, she worked at my office. I talked to her, saw her on a regular basis. She was absolutely lovely, and I liked her very much. But I don’t think I can claim to have been a good friend. I just worked with her. And I remember hearing stories of how she used her stock options to buy cars for her friends, let them live with her, gave them money. At the time it sounded crazy, like someone sitting on a parade float tossing money off the side like Mardi Gras beads.
I was younger then. As young assholes often are.
I didn’t know she had no family. And why should it matter? Now, I know she did these things to invest in people she cared for – as anyone would for their child, their sibling, their spouse – not because she had nothing else to do with the money. I didn’t know yet the kind of person who doesn’t require those connections in order to help someone else so significantly.
Laura died three days ago. Stage four Pancreatic Cancer took her in less than a month. And thank God she had Sonny, her best friend to care for her through it all.
Sonny’s as much an eBay legend as Griff & Lars – not just because she was one of the first, but because she was one of the best. Not in terms of performance or volume or diplomacy – although if memory serves, she had those in spades – but in the all the ways that mattered to most everyone associated with eBay at the time: caring about people. Being good to each other and our members and doing what was right for the community, and making that true at every level of the company and now I think I’m starting to ramble here, but my point is: Laura got sick FAST. And when the chips were down, Sonny was there. For everything.
For the doctors, for the pain, for the fear and anger and loss, for the hospice and the funeral plans and the endless list of unimaginable things that happen in the dark hours of the nights.
Sonny was there when Laura passed, and there to learn that in order to have her ashes scattered from the mountains with her mother, the state needed a signed document that Laura was unable to make.
And THAT is when Sean D. Reyes was there. On Saturday, the Attorney General of Utah personally reached out to Sonny via Facebook and worked for several hours coordinating with the funeral home & the county Mayor on Laura’s behalf – because Sonny’s friend Stephanie contacted him.
Laura’s childhood friend, was there 6 days before she died checking on them both, giving Sonny time to sleep. Sonny’s friend Darla was there to do some chores, and go grocery shopping. Her neighbor checked on them every day. Coworkers brought dinners, got her mail, made sure the insurance was paid. There were so many people, doing small things that were really, very big.
Which made me think of this ad. It’s old. 10+ years old. And I don’t care. I’ll always love and think of it as an illustration of the very best representation, not just of eBay, but all of us.
And now this damn thing is always going to make me cry.