Friday, January 7, 2011

The Passing of Time and Friends

What is time? Why does it go the way it does: fast, slow, quick, slow. So interesting, right! Time comes and goes whether we want it to, like it to or not. I guess it’s one of those things we cannot control or can we?! It’s a choice, isn’t it? We can try to take the bull by the horn and break it, you know settle it down so that we can keep up with it. It’s just not that easy while it’s in motion.

I haven’t had enough time to do all the things I’ve wanted to do, needed to do and should do, even though I’ve wanted to and think about doing. Touching base; saying hello, making a phone call, sending an email, the little but very important touchstones of life. I just haven’t had the time or made the time to do them as much. OR perhaps haven’t the presence of mind, will and determination to just do it!

I attended the funeral today of a friend of over 20 years. He was a staff member in an organization where I directed a program in the mid-‘80’s. We remained friend’s years after I left the organization. He was caring and very available to help and give counsel and offer support. Our families were friendly; we each had two daughters earlier on, and kept in touch through birthday parties, graduations etc. For the past several years I was more in touch with his wife, Jill, than he and haven’t actually spoken to him in about 3 years.

He was a very peculiar person and sometimes even stoic. He was fine knowing I was in touch with his wife and would comment that I chose her over him so he had nothing to “say” to me. Anyway he was a good friend. He was giving and direct and sometimes unforgiving but he would explain his position and made peace with it. He loved music and played the steel drums beautifully, it was his passion. Food and kids were also his passion.

He had very distinct ideas and beliefs and there was no convincing him otherwise. He could accept his decisions and move on never giving a thought to soften his position or appease someone who disagreed. He was unpretentious and comfortable in his skin. He was authentic. When I badgered him about being hard nosed he would say, “You take me as I am or leave me. I’m cool, I can live with myself.” I have to admit he was solid.

He died of a massive stroke because of hypertension. He believed that he could take care of himself better than any other person so going to the doctors, taking medicines, chemical compounds, were not his thing. He had remedies that were better and could fix whatever ails him and that would be that. Well sadly, that was that.

So could I have made an impression on him to get checked and take the prescribed treatment had I been in touch? Could I have been able to prepare the family for this outcome was I more involved? Would I have gotten a goodbye hug more recently that says to him that he is loved, take care? Well who knows? I am not beating myself up about this, it is just a reflection. Really, who knows?

One of my goals this year is to stay in touch and more engaged with friends and family. This certainly gives pause for me to actualize it every chance I get. The girls and Jill will be in my prayers and thoughts and in my way through out the year. Stay strong my friends, we are with you.
My friend, rest in peace. Thank you for your friendship and your love.

To his family: may, the peace of God that passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7


Donna, Doni, Lady D said...

Life. Don't think toooo hard Philly - it really is a huge mystery is it not. Take care. xx

patty said...

Hi Philly,

I just popped over here and realized that for some reason your posts do not show up on my reader, so no wonder I am behind on them!
This post reminds me of a line in a poem I wrote a few years ago: "Life moves in only one direction, there's no turning back for further reflection." And so it does. Funerals are so bittersweet - while sad, sometimes they are the vehicle to conect with loved ones and they definitely provide a stimulus to think about things that we don't normally think about. And usually that's a good thing! Thanks for sharing.

lostforwords101 said...

I feel you on this one. Most of the time I also think whether if I saw this friend or that friend, I could have prevented something bad from happening in their life...But I guess it's just really the way things are, we can't jump into everything & be responsible for everyone, all we can do is trust that they are making the best choices for themselves, and what they know will suit them the most.

And whatever choices they make, or we make for ourselves, we always learn from it and it puts us in the position to improve and do better than our previous self.

Donna, Doni, Lady D said...

Hi Philly ... you've been popping in and out of my thoughts lately, so thought I'd drop by to say hi. Thinking of you .. hope all is well. xx Donna

A Mom said...

great articles! keep it up.