Farewell Joe, Hello Fast

A few weeks ago, at the Web Analytics Wednesday local gathering I saw an old friend whom I had met through the activities of the Web Managers Roundtable several years ago, Joe Pagano. As Joe and I spoke about interests beyond our profession, he enthusiastically invited me for a tour around the Library of Congress where he worked. We agreed to meet for lunch with another fine friend of mine — and a Library of Congress fellow — Bill Collins. I thought that such a lunch would give me an opportunity to talk to Joe — a truly special human being — about the Baha’i Faith. We had originally planned to meet for lunch on February 10th but had to shift it to February 9th due to other activities. The big DC snow of February 2010 then had us postpone again, and then came my trip to Bulgaria. Now that I am back, I was about to send a message to Joe and Bill to start planning again for our lunch.

This morning however, I got Jim Sterne’s newsletter, Sterne Measures, and read in horror the following:

So Long Joe, You Will Be Missed

Last month, we lost Joe Pagano, a vibrant member of our community. Joe was the digital media project coordinator
in the Office of Strategic Initiatives at the Library of Congress where he led the Library’s Web site analytics
program. He worked in web metrics for the last eight years, was co-chair of the Web Manager’s Advisory Council Web
Metrics Task Group and was very active in the Web Analytics Association. Rest well, Joe.
I read several prayers for the departed today. I was quite shaken by Joe’s untimely passing because it reminded me of how short human life is:
31. O SON OF BEING!
Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning; for death, unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy deeds.

(Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

This has been a stirring reminder of how unique every fleeting moment is, and of the missed opportunities — to teach and to live a good life and appreciate it. What if I had talked to Joe about the Faith without waiting for that lunch? What if it was my mission to share with him about Baha’u’llah, and I failed? I know, it can get very egotistical to think about all these things I could have done while the whole purpose of the Fast is to get us rid of the promptings of the self, yet there is a lesson in this all, and a very timely reminder as I prepare for the Baha’i Fast. So, now I am determined to not miss opportunities. Thank you, Joe, and farewell! You will indeed be missed…

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  • Befriended Stranger » Ripples on a Waving Sea :

    […] mad on another more regular day but that day in particular I was most certainly very impacted by the passing of Joe Pagano which, putting everything else in perspective, had reminded me how fragile and precious life is,  […]

    9 years ago

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