Today we said goodbye to Juan Correa Maturana, 40 years young, a son, a colleague and a friend to many. I had the pleasure of working with Juan during my time at Planet Space. He was a hard worker, meticulous in all that he did and a collector of anything about to be thrown in the bin! His desk was a collection of interesting bits and pieces and Juan was always the one to save useful rubbish from being thrown away by our customers.
He drove the van the way he approached work – hard and fast! He listened to the radio, tuning into rock, heavy metal, anything loud that went with driving a van fast. Many a sleepy morning when I would have to take the van out of the warehouse, starting the engine and having the radio kick in would jolt me into the day with the blare of Juan’s music choice from the day before.
No job was too hard for Juan. He had no time for fools either so many a time Juan would step in and finish a job with the forklift that I was capable of botching up, luckily before I would. He liked my cakes, always saving his slice for when he would really take the time to appreciate and savour every last morsel.
I bumped into him in Binissalem one day last November when he had come for the day to check on his beloved dogs. It was raining, the day was pretty grim and Juan was below energy, par for the course with his illness. I took him back to my place as it was lunch time and Pau and I were going to eat. Juan stayed for a while, eating taking as long as Pau normally takes – another virgo. But this time eating was not the same as it had always been for Juan. He asked me why I had not been to visit him in hospital in the preceeding months. I can’t remember what I said but I did say sorry and I did say I had no excuse, it was what I do best, bury my head. I am glad he asked me though.
I last saw Juan this past Saturday at the Hospital General in Palma, in the palliative care unit. His mother was there and his dear friend Jan, former girlfriend and an incredible woman. These two women were with him to the end. Friends and colleagues came daily to see him although by now he was not able to acknowledge them but he was aware of us all. One such visitor was like a father figure to him – owner of Complete Marine Freight and Planet Space, Peter Sell. Peter told me how he had said goodbye to Juan some days before his passing. Juan managed to squeeze his hand even though by this time Juan was out for the count.
I know Juan would have been happy with the gathering today. He would have loved seeing STP maintenance department being represented as well as longtime, faithful customer Noel Dyne. Old colleagues were there and Manu, our faithful every Wednesday sales rep too. We were all there, his CMF compis led by his work bff Lucy as well as his PS buddies. His mum, bless her, kept her dignity and welcomed everyone of us and along with Jan and a primo-hermano, the family was complete. The only one unable to be there of course was Juan!
Juan, I’m sure you’ve got a brand new van to drive where you are now, music blaring! Along with a motorbike, boat, the open air and your hair flying in the wind, you must be rocking! We will miss your collection of bits and pieces around your desk. Packing crates and pallets won’t be the same without you. Seeing you show up looking snazzy for a night out will truly be missed.
Juan, que sepas, todos te queremos y todos te echaremos de menos. Descansa en Paz brother – we love you!