About ten days ago I joined a gym and have been going regularly ever since. I do have to build up slowly to prevent aggravating back and knee issues that could very quickly sideline this attempt if I am not careful. But so far so good.
A man named Charles was at the desk the morning I joined and he showed me where to go to sign up. On Saturday he was also there and we chatted for about five minutes about how to build up slowly with cardio exercises. On the way out I spoke briefly with him and thanked him for his help.
On Thursday's visit, there was a note at the check-in desk about a funeral to be held that afternoon. For Charles. He died early this week; I don't know anything about it, just that it was not a natural death.
Tennyson said "I am a part of all that I have met." We all affect - and are affected by - all we meet, even casual contacts. My interactions with Charles were extremely limited and brief. But his death is to me another wake-up call that we never know if those we come in contact with might be in great crisis - or may not have long to live.