Monday, March 05, 2012

The Golden Years

I woke up at 4:30 this morning thinking about our friend Charlie. He is very ill. He, his wife and son are remarkable people.
Working for the newspaper back in the mid 70's I'd met him but it wasn't until about four years ago that we became acquainted.
We quickly became friends. He loves telling stories even more than I do, if that's possible. He was our local congressman's press secretary for many years. His family is well traveled, well educated, and lovers of books.
Every time we visit them, we leave with gifts. His wife gives Jilda books, bags of coffee, imported sweets, or something else that's thoughtful and interesting.
I learned today that he'd been taken to the hospital. I had appointments in Jasper this afternoon, so afterwards I stopped by to check on him. He was in tremendous pain.
He was still in the ER when I got there, but he managed a smile when I came in. They stabilized him earlier, and we talked while he waited to move to a room. I have a feeling he has spent time contemplating the end.
He took my hand and said, "you know we love you and Jilda. We're so thankful you came into our lives."
I started to talk, but he trudged on. "If there are things you want to do, you should do them. If there are places you want to go, you need to go.....now." The pause between "you need to go" and "now" spoke volumes.
He choked up a little when he said "there are so many things we wanted to do, but we kept putting them off." I looked up at his wife and she had tears streaming down her face.
He said "enjoy life while you can, because I can tell you from experience, the golden years have lost their luster for us."
It was hard to leave, but I had pressing things to do. I talked to Charlie's wife tonight and he's now in a room resting. I'm saying a silent prayer that the Good Lord watches over my friend.

11 comments:

  1. I hope all goes well for your friend. What he said is true. We never know how much time we'll have or what our health will be like. We need to make time for our dreams while we're well and healthy enough to make them a reality.

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  2. Sounds like Charlie knows whereof he speaks. I am sorry your friend was in pain and hope he is resting better.

    His advice is sound. First there are the golden years, and then come the plain "olden" years. So far we are blessed to be enjoying the former, but we are aware that it is a blessing, not a guarantee.

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  3. I am so sorry about your friend. May God's hand be upon him. My hubby and I spent all our extra money traveling and I'm glad we did. We are both sick now and traveling is difficult.

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  4. Glad your friend is surrounded by love. I hope he rests. I hope he is no longer in pain. Take care
    x

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  5. So sorry to hear about your friend and his suffering. Take his words to heart. He knows whereof he speaks.

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  6. Sorry to know that your friends is suffering.

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  7. Prayers for your friend and his wife.
    His words are wise and true!

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  8. May the Lord bless Charlie and his wife.

    Love,
    Janie

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  9. I wrote a blog once called The Golden Years and who named it that. I can't quite say they are the golden years - can you? sandie

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  10. Thanks for sharing this. So many of us put off doing things because we think we can't afford them or we don't have the time. When we do have the time, things like illness prevent us from doing what we wanted to do. Sending up prayers for your friend and his family.

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  11. I think the best thing you did was take the time to visit your friend. He has the wisdom of the ages and everything he said rings so true. In my work I see the devastating ravages of age related illnesses. It reminds me to enjoy each day and not put off calls and visits to friends or family. I seldom regret things I've done..but many times regret things I haven't done. I hope Charlie gets through this to spend more time with his wife and good friends like you.

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