Norman was hard sitting at his desk, going over the Henderson report and making little notes on the margin. It was a complicated case, lots of things to watch out for, and 2% of the quarter’s profit margin relied on it. Heavily.
Norman loved his job so much he spent no less than 16 hours a day working. He was at an age when sleep was not as important. In fact, he could hardly ever fall asleep for more that two hours, so what else was there to do? He was proud of his company. It was the child of over 60 years of work. More important than his biological children or grandchildren.
That Henderson report was getting to him. He was finding it difficult to concentrate. He thought about it for a moment and realized the source of his distraction was a dull chest pain. No, not another heart attack, he thought.
But it was too late. He fell to the carpet. He knew he was dying.
There was so much work to do. There were so many things only he knew how to do. He wished he had trained somebody who could take over. But then, would he have retired years back? Would he have listened to his wife when she said he deserved a rest? Would he have lived longer, until he became sick and dependent? Would he have wished he could die, or would he have grasped for life with every little bit of his willpower?
He rolled on his back, ignoring the debilitating pain and the black spots that started filling the edges of his world. He focused on all the things that were not finished and how much they mattered. He thought of the way he was as he was dying, so strong and creative. How he had not taken a vacation in the last thirty years. How he impressed others. And only one word resonated in his mind.