I learned this weekend that one of the people listed in Star of Justice's acknowledgments, Smiley Steve the Postman, died unexpectedly this past March.
I met Steve when I started shipping books at Florists' Review. This was before the USPS made Internet postage shipping so easy. I'd take my stack of boxes to the post office and learn how to ship books all over the world.
Four Steves worked at the post office, which is how Smiley Steve got his nickname. He was the Steve who always smiled. He always had a pleasant word and ready laugh. He indicated interest in my book so I gave him a copy to review. He gave me my best complement: "It's like a real book!"
Steve left the post office and I saw him only a few times after that. He had health trouble - something to do with his veins. He'd tried a vein transplant in his leg that didn't work and he ended up with a bionic leg.
I don't know how he died. I didn't ask for details but I gather it was a surprise to everyone. Possibly a heart attack or aneurysm. It was certainly a surprise to me, and I'm not ashamed to say I cried. The world lost a wonderful man and I pray for God's comfort for his family.
You never know who you will touch in your day-to-day life. You never know the impact a smile or laugh or pleasant word will have. Please take the time to share joy with someone every day.
Dear Smiley Steve, you are in my acknowledgements, but you are also in my dedication. You have gone before. You will be remembered and missed.
Keep the faith.