I refer to my late great Danish boss, Erik Rosenbaum, may he rest in peace. It’s strange how you get these premonitions, and then it turns out someone’s gone forever.
I had to have been one of the most obnoxious, OCD, high-maintenance employees in the history of Sun Nurseries, but I was always treated graciously and appreciated, for what I don’t know. That ten years brought me through an extreme purging process, in no small part thanks to my patient, long-suffering bosses, managers, and co-workers, who had more faith in me than I warranted.
Now, looking back, I realize belatedly how much those years and this wonderful employer meant to me, and what a mentor and role model Erik was to many of us. He was a true scientist, but more, a person of high standards and integrity. I remember his sense of humor, and the work ethic he demonstrated by jumping right in there with us, even into his older years. But I guess he wasn’t immortal, after all.
I didn’t keep in touch enough to know of the difficult medical issues he dealt with the past few years. Characteristically, his mind was still strong even as his body deteriorated to where he couldn’t speak or move. Though I never really knew him, the sense of loss I feel says a lot about the significant role he played in my growth. He will be missed by all of us fortunate enough to have worked for him.
Appropriately enough, it’s a freezing gray day here, much colder than the average for this time of year, with icy stuff coming down intermittently. Bleh. Even Misu is smart enough to adjourn to warmer parts (mostly E’s lap). She brings to mind Erik’s lovable cat Mia, the mascot of the nursery. The only lifelike plant life I care to photograph today is likewise indoors.
The fourth day candles await lighting; tonight they’ll also serve as a symbolic memorial light. And most importantly, my eagerly awaited Seed Savers 2019 catalog has arrived, signifying it must be unofficial winter! Time to start daydreaming about improved gardens, another reminder of how Erik and Sun contributed to my love of horticulture and botanical pursuits. He loved experimenting with pawpaw trees; I think I shall plant one in his honor.