Musings

Musings

Bob
Bob

March 23rd, 2008, 3:55 pm #1

Yesterday, I attended a funeral for the elderly mother of one of my clients. By all accounts, the woman was a lovely person and the favorite of her many relatives. Everyone who spoke said she was the embodiment of love.

On my way of of the service, I noticed a man standing at the back and recognized him as a guy I shared an office with 20 years ago. After he left the agency (job abolished), we kept in contact for a few years. But, as so often happens, we drifted apart and I hadn't seen him or gotten any news about how he was doing for several years. Turns out that the lady whose funeral I attended was my friend's aunt . . his favorite "Auntie" too.

We hugged and talked a bit, and I offered him a ride home (he didn't want to go to the cemetary of such a cold, damp, depressing day). I showed him my sons' pictures, and we caught up on what had been going on in each others' lives. Like me, he is caring for his elderly, infirm mother. He is having his own significant health issues ("almost died" a few years ago!).

As I dropped him off, we agreed we should keep in touch , have supper some night . . whether we will is a question. Got me to thinking about the passage of time and all the people who go into and out of our lives. So many people I thought would be lifelong close friends, but it doesn't take long cease contact. Life and relationships are so fleeting.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 23rd, 2008, 5:18 pm #2

Yes I often think about friends I had years ago- even back to my school days and wonder what's become of them. Since I've changed cities several times over the years I've lost track of most all of them. I've rediscovered a few- quite by accident on internet tech forums since people in the same profession tend to congregate in the same places but its never really the same- after exchanging a few emails about old times there doesn't seem to be anything else to talk about since we don't have much in common anymore.

And I think about how many people I knew who must be gone now- for years it seems I was always he young guy in the bunch so my colleagues were typically 10-20 years older- which means they are now all old retired guys in their 70s & 80s- if they are alive at all. I still find this hard to believe. I always think of people the way they were when I knew them- 30-some years ago. Its the same when I meet or see photos of distant relatives I haven't seen for many years. The kids I still think of as kids are now middle age adults with kids of their own. Life goes on.
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Bob
Bob

March 23rd, 2008, 10:20 pm #3

. . . a trip to see people you knew years ago, and see how they have changed (or hear them say, "Wow, you've changed!" -- bummer!). The friend I noted: Years ago he was fairly trim and dressed well, so he always had a professional appearance. Now, his face looks drawn and his shoudlders rounded and give that bent-forward appearance (he's had a bone disease for years), and he has the bloated-gut look that adds to the sickly appearance. He justs looks so fragile (is fragile, per his comments) and yet is really not that old.

Some of my foundest memories are when we'd be in the office together and the day was really getting to me -- seemed nothing would go right. I'd be frustrated and bitching about things. Ron would say, "You know what we're going to do, Bob? We are going to take a little trip. See this poster of the world behind me? Where would you like to visit if, right now, you could visit any place on that map? Don't worry about money or time or anything. All that is taken care of. All you have to do is choose a place you want to see."

At first, I'd look over, I'm sure a smirk on my face, and thinking "Don't give me that 'change the subject' BS!" But then I realized that I was wearing myself out thinking about things I had little control of. I glanced at the map. Meanwhile, Ron opened a desk drawer and started pulling things out: packages of wheat crackers and bread sticks, jars of various jams. And, he'd say, "We are going to need nourishment for this trip!" He'd describe the various flavors and recommend combinations, and I'd say "Yeah, I'll try that." And I'd pick a place, and he'd pick a place, and we'd say what we'd like to see there and the people we'd meet . . and we'd snack away . . and before you knew it we were both laughing and having a good time.

Ron was always a "stop and smell the roses" kind of person, and while he had his share of faults, he was the perfect counter to my "everything sucks and the sky is falling" persona. I've always admired people who approach life with such a care-free, the world-aint-gonna-end-cause-I-refuse-to-get-upset-about-it attitude.

(Funny thing is . . I am so much the other way that I have said, "Man, I wish I could have your outlook, cause if I had your life to live, I'd be crazier than I am now!" lmao! You know I can find the tarnish on the silver lining to any cloud!
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