Rufus "Pat" Jobe, an acquaintance during the last fifteen years, died this week. Three years older than me, Rufus was a genuinely nice fellow. Optimistic and curious, Rufus was well-suited for his career as a librarian at Cabell County's main branch.
Rufus lived near me, and a couple of times we shared rides home. A few times we had lunch together. Mostly, though, we enjoyed each other's company on the reference floor of the library, talking about politics, religion and people. I didn't know Rufus well--in fact, according to his obituary he was best known by his nickname, "Pat," which I didn't know--and we didn't agree on much, but we loved to talk. He was more conservative than I, and more certain of his beliefs. I admired that.
His sudden death, and the fact that he was only slightly older than me, has me stunned. And reflective. His passing has me questioning most of my actions, passing them through a "Rufus filter" for checks on morality and values. Even in death I respect his perspective. Hope he knows that, somewhere.