Wednesday, June 27, 2007

We Really Do Need Each Other

Since I wrote about a former boss on my last post, I think it would be appropriate to write about the next boss. You cannot tell by this photo that David Gligor is on crutches with a broken leg and has been recuperating from a broken shoulder, broken collarbone, broken ribs and a punctured lung. His smile in this photo means more than you may think. He is very much aware that he is very fortunate to be alive.

Continuing from my previous post, soon after taking the new overwhelming position I just wrote about, the boss who was so impressed with my interview (kidding) was promoted to another position within the company. All of a sudden a man I had never met was my boss. I could not help but wonder how a very smart young up and comer corporate guy who grew up in Ohio would mesh with a gray haired southern drawl talking guy from Georgia. When I found out he was of the Orthodox Greek faith I also wondered how my Southern Baptist and United Methodist background would fit.

Just to keep you from being in suspense I will go ahead and answer that question. It was a perfect fit. After over four years of working together, I would consider David on the short list of one of the best friends I have on earth. Just so you will know I am not trying to get brownie points with my boss, David is no longer my boss. After working for him for 3 years or so, David transferred to another area of responsibility and I was fortunate enough to take his position. So for the past couple of years we have been peers.

When I began working for David, I quickly realized I had never met a man who worked harder. He was absolutely wide open. Most nights we would get to a hotel after midnight and we would leave again at 6AM. I also quickly realized that he was very smart and I had sense enough to make it my business to learn all I could from him. He was a very tough businessman and did not hesitate to make the tough decisions. He took me to a completely different level in my profession. And he made me very tired trying to keep up with him.

But I think I helped him out a little as well. David did not have a funeral background and since I have been doing that since before I was old enough to drive, I was able to help him understand the importance of our people who sit across the desk from families day after day who have had their hearts ripped out. And what it takes to look after all the intricate and very important details from the time a death call is received until the disposition takes place.

We realized we were in a very good situation. We learned from each other and we both had great respect for each other. Since we spent so much time together traveling throughout the United States we talked about everything under the sun. We had many serious discussions about life but we also laughed a lot. It didn’t take me long to realize that this very tough businessman had a huge heart. During our time of working together his very beautiful and young wife found out she had cancer. In what seemed like a blink of an eye she was gone and David’s world was rocked. I visited Debbie at a Houston hospital just a couple of days before she passed away. It was a moment and a visit I will never forget. In just a few days I was serving as a pallbearer at her funeral. And I watched my completely devastated friend trying to get his breath. And at the same time I saw a very smart tough businessman go to a completely different level in understanding what our profession is all about.

David made it through the darkest days of his life as everybody eventually does. He was very determined to keep living life to the fullest. The recuperating he is doing that I mentioned at the beginning of this blog is a perfect example. He was racing his dirt bike a few months ago one Saturday afternoon and took a major spill. It is a miracle he made it out alive.

A few months ago David paid me the greatest compliment he could possibly pay me. He told me that when his future son in law asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage, he had one request before he agreed. He wanted his future son in law to watch a video of one of my talks.

The relationship I have with David Gligor taught me a very valuable lesson. It doesn’t matter where we come from or what our background happens to be, there really are no differences. And we all need to continually work to build relationships with those God puts in our path. Those relationships can be the catalyst to help us live out what we were put on earth to do. We make each other better.

We really do need each other.


Anonymous said...

hey, bruce!! great blog about David. we all really do need each other. you have absolutely made it your life to be "other-oriented" and build relationships with all sorts of people from everywhere you can imagine. your love of people has made so many people love you. i just hope that when your kids have to bury you...........they pick a huge church, because there'll be some butts in the seats!!

Anonymous said...


My Dad told me to look at your blog, that you had posted something about him.

I just wanted to say that made me cry. You said some really sweet things about him that are all so true.

Thank you so much for being a friend to my Dad in that way. I know parents always want their kids to have good friends, but it is nice to see that my Dad has good friends too.

I hope all is well, with you and your family.


Anonymous said...

I have heard you speak so much about David and how much you value his friendship. You are so correct in saying that we all need each other.


Anonymous said...

Bruce I read your blog faithfully and we all really do need each other. I will never forget when daddy passed and you were there. You were just getting into Corporate America, but had not left the funeral home completely. But for us and daddy, you wanted to handle him personally and that meant so much to our family. I just wanted you know that. And we really miss you in Reynolds. I don't know what we will do when we have this time again in our lives without you. They do a good job at the funeral home, but they are not Goddards.
Keep up the good work and tell Kathy hello.


Anonymous said...

You are "right on" with your comments about David. He is a "hard charger", but has a heart like mush. P.S. - David - we won't tell!

You also have a rare gift of seeing beyond what's on the outside, and looking within to see the real person. The people you touch will always remember you - for your wit and for your caring spirit.

Anonymous said...

David has been through alot, I am sure he has been touched.