Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Personal Note From Pillar Of Autumn

Sorry this blog hasn't been updated in awhile. I over-extended myself at work and at home and have fallen prey to a garden-variety cold. But at my age, these colds WIPE YOU OUT! Two days off from work and I'm still a bit woozy. If any of you readers are in chronically good health, don't take it for granted!

I'll fire up the blog in earnest for this coming weekend (12/16/07) . I've got a lot of catching up to do, business wise and family wise; so the postings will be sparse.

I recently lost a good friend who succumbed to a lifelong problem with alcohol and diabetic complications. I believe the first thing you do upon hearing of the demise of a person close to you is a gut check. There's the "better him than me" reaction, then the thoughts of loss and pain and then the "where from here"-stage. My buddy was a good man, though not your poster-boy for family values. He had his ups, downs and interesting times throughout his life. A couple of marriages and a couple kids left behind. I think he knew where he was headed, though we never got a chance to say good-bye. When his wife called me at 6AM on a recent Sunday morning, I already suspected the news.
His daughter never really got to know him well, at least not the side I saw. She's the one I really feel sorry for.
I think of where the memories of him will go after he's laid to rest and ceases being relevant. Harsh words, but true. The world is a forward-looking machine. We don't stop much for memories to recall the past, the people before us. Maybe what troubles our sleep is the whispers of the dead; the forging souls who helped get us where we are, who helped shape us. We're all creations of the people we associate with, whether we want to admit it or not. But still we plod onward, worried over the miniscule and losing site of the friendships we lose all too often. My buddy helped me become who I am through his outlook on life and his good nature.
My best days with my buddy were behind us. He had moved to the opposite coast and I'm bogged down with family matters, I'm a long way from the "free-and-clear" lifestyle of my youth. But I had made plans with my friend to do something special, like out of the Kevin Costner movie "Fandango." (A horrendously underappreciated flick, please go rent it and remember your youth) We were going to do some sightseeing in California and check out Death Valley, just to say we went there. I was looking forward to this, but fate stepped in.
I'll get a chance to say good-bye to him next spring at a family service. His ashes are to be spread on the family ranch. Words will be hard, but I've got an idea on what I'd like to say. I just wish I could've said them to my buddy while he was still with us.
Please tell your friends you care, please make the extra efforts to be with them while you can, please write and call them when it's convenient, please don't leave words unfinished or unspoken; before it's too late. I'm 42 years old and I've got fewer years in front of me than behind me. Life goes by too quick, take my word for it.

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