My law office has 3 partners. Mr. Hooper is one of the senior partners. He has been part owner of this law firm for the last 25 years. For the last few years he has been semi-retired. He comes into the office about 3 to 4 days a week. His office is right next to mine.
I adore Mr. Hooper. He is an older gentlemen. He is very grandfatherly. He is boistrous, funny, ornery, kind, and generous. He teases us and loves to stir the pot (in a fun way). I always love when Mr. Hooper is in the office.
Friday morning he walked in and did his usual "Gooood morning, Jennifer!". He asked about Grant and how he was doing, if he was feeling better. He did a little bit of work. Then when the girls and I started talking about what we wanted to do for lunch, he informed us that he would be buying our lunch today. Later, me, the girls and Mr. Hooper sat at the kitchen table for over an hour. We ate lunch together and I talked to him about what he was going to do this weekend and we talked about his grandkids. It was such a nice visit.
After lunch, Mr. Hooper said he was going to go run an errand and said that he would be back.
He went to his chiropractor's office. It was there that he said "I'm not feeling very well", and then he took his final breath. Mr. Hooper passed away Friday afternoon.
Our office was in complete shock. I literally didn't believe it since we just been with him not even 3 hours before we got the phone call. The assumption is heart attack... it is just so gosh darn sudden. How could someone be so alive one minute and then not here the next? How can he be shooting rubberbands at me at 12:30 and be dead at 2:30?
I am just so sad. I am so sad for his kids, for his grandkids. Mr. Hooper's wife died of cancer several years ago. For the last year or two he has been "dating" a sweet woman named Missy. They go to lunch together and go see plays and go out to eat and they were really good companions for one another. I hurt for her.
I am sad for our office. We lost our big teddy bear. One time, my co-worker had to bring her little boy to the office for an hour or so. While he was there, Mr. Hooper put the little boy in his big chair and let him play computer games on his computer. Meanwhile, Mr. Hooper sat on the other side of the desk and did his work from the other end. It was so funny to see the little guy in this big 'ol attorney's chair playing a Looney Tunes game while Mr. Hooper sat on the other end and did some research. He was just so sweet.
It really makes me realize how precious life is, but also how fleeting life is. It can be over in an instant. It makes me want to tell everyone how much I love them and could everyone just stay home please and take care of themselves?!?!?
Tomorrow I have to go back to the office. I feel like I'm all cried out but something tells me that walking by his office and saying his name every time I answer the phone (since Hooper is in the name of the firm) and trying to decide what to do with his mail... I feel like we will all be very emotional tomorrow.
Y'all... I am just spent. This weekend has helped alot. I feel rejuvenated but also a bit hesitant to begin this week. Grant has a whole week's worth of work to make up. We have to start the house hunt again and there will be alot going on in my office in the wake of Mr. Hooper's death.
I am praying for peace, for rest and for a bit of joy this week. I could really use some HAPPY!
Here's to a new week and a fresh start. Thankfully, the temperatures have dropped and I can cozy up in a nice sweater.....
I hope y'all have a great week.