When Marc became ill, Slalom continued to be supportive and proactive in helping us. They provided amazing benefits, disability, and extra touches that made our lives a bit more bearable. When Marc couldn't work full time, they found part time work. When he couldn't commute any longer, they provided jobs he could do from home. When he finally had to take permanent leave, they were in constant communication and provided help with figuring out disability and health insurance. I have never heard of a company that is so invested in the welfare of their employees and families.
It's been over a year since Marc passed away and yet we are still in communication with our friends at Slalom. This week the kids and I received another over-the-top blessing from them. One of the hardest things for me to part with was Marc's laptop. It was his tool...the item that he used daily for work. Every time I opened it up, I would see his fingerprint smudges on the screen and remember him staring at it deep in thought. It was company property, though, and I knew I needed to return it.
After hemming and hawing over it for months, I finally contacted Niki, our HR contact at Slalom. She has always been a gem of support and encouragement. I apologized for my procrastination and made arrangements to send the laptop back. It was then that she told me that if I wanted to keep it, I could. Or, they had another plan -- one huge over-the-top plan that would bless my kids. She left me to think about it and talk to the kids about it.
This week the over-the-top plan came to fruition. Friday morning Niki left her huge work load and personal holiday demands, boarded a plane in Seattle and flew to Portland. She then drove an hour to our home and personally delivered four laptops to the kids. Each laptop has Marc's files on them -- pictures, music, and documents. Each of them now has access to "Dad's" computer whenever they want. In addition, the IT group copied all of the emails Marc and I had sent back and forth over the years. Every request for a gallon of milk, to quick notes of encouragement back and forth, are all on a thumb drive. Priceless.
I can't explain how much this means to me and the kids. While the gifts have been overwhelming and appreciated, we are more touched that this company has invested so much in us on a very personal level. They don't owe us anything. They don't need to continue to reach out, and yet they do. Their kindness has been such a tremendous encouragement and blessing. We have nothing we can give them in return -- a humbling place to be. We can only offer our gratitude.
We were able to surprise the kids on Friday. They had no idea that Niki was coming. She staged the computers and was able to surprise them when they came downstairs.
Working with a six-year-old and a laptop. Niki is one patient soul!