One of my co-workers passed away yesterday.
Sherman had been a CNA for well over ten years when I first came to work. He and Vickie were responsible for most of my training. I wouldn't say he took me under his wing, but since I could keep up with him, I was able to learn a lot.
He taught me that the resident is the boss. He taught me that it was ok to be upset, but never to let a resident see it. He taught me that you need to sneak your breaks in when you can because you don't know if the night will allow you to get another one before the end of your shift.
Sherman could be a jerk. If his perception was that you were lazy or stupid, he'd work around you until you got the message and quit. He was responsible for "running off" his share of inferior nursing assistants.
That said, he never turned down a request for help. He was good to his residents. The highest compliment a resident could pay to another male CNA was "he's almost as good as Sherman".
Knowing you're in a better place isn't much comfort to me. I won't get to hear your stories or benefit from your experience any more. I won't get to laugh when you say something so off color that it makes everyone around you blush. I won't get to join in your frustration when things aren't going well or your joy when something actually goes right. I miss you already, Sherman. Rest in peace, man.