Monday, June 02, 2014

Life is rushing by ~ My column from Sunday's paper

I’ve read that high-school students have ringtones set to very high frequencies so that older teachers can’t hear the cell phones ring.

Another cruel trick that time plays is a sound that only older people can hear. It’s the sound of life rushing by. I can hear it as I type these words.

Something that seems to come more frequently with age is losing friends. When I was younger, it happened from time to time and was always brutal, but I’ve found that it happens more as I’ve gotten older.

This past week we lost one of our dearest friends. Steve Weisberg was a musician who’d traveled the globe in a Learjet with John Denver when the crooner was at the top of his game.

As sometimes happens when fame and fortune smiles on an individual, he began to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Things began to spiral out of control and he lost his job with John Denver, his house, his wife and money. 

With the help of his parents, he got clean, and died this past week with a 24-year coin from Alcoholics Anonymous. He fell victim to cancer, which is the cruelest executioner.

We’ve made many friends in the clinic where Jilda gets her monthly treatments.

The majority of patients there are getting chemo for cancer. We’ve formed a kind of kinship with each other because these friends know firsthand what the others are going through.

Jilda is the type of person who can meet someone and 10 minutes later, she walks away with intimate details of their hopes, dreams, family history and love life.

She’s a rockstar in the treatment room. People change their treatment dates so they can be there when she’s there.

The sad part we’ve learned is that this group of friends die even more frequently. We’ve attended several funerals these last three years.

Last Saturday we had friends and family over for an old fashion fish fry. It was a picture-perfect day. One of her chair buddies felt well enough to come too.

We placed picnic tables with lawn chairs in the back yard, iced the drinks down in a No. 3 wash tub nearby, and we sat around in the shade of oak and pine to eat some of the best fried fish I’ve ever put in my mouth thanks to my nephew Haven.

I thought nothing could put a damper on the day but after all the guests had gone home, we learned that a friend that we’ve known for over 30 years who is a cancer survivor, found out this past week that the cancer may be back. 

At this point, it’s not clear if treatment is an option. I’m sure they are wrestling with the decision of whether to opt for quality of life over quantity. The thought breaks my heart.

As I thought about the best way to end this piece, I remembered a song that Jilda and I wrote a while back that seems appropriate for this column. The song is entitled “Turn Around.”

“When you’re young you think you’ll live forever, Can’t hear the sound of life rushing by,

“See no need to be in a hurry,

You’re just along for the ride.”

These days the sound of life rushing by seems louder than ever. 

Read more: Daily Mountain Eagle - Life is rushing by 


  1. A heart breaking day and time for sure but it is good there is a support group like this to make it easier. Old people like my Mom also die alone as they outlive all their friends.

    I try not to think about time. Its hard enough to think you have to take over the reins passed onto you by your parents.I always liked to think they had it under control. lol
    Our UBC and Simon Fraser Universities do well in this research and so I would always recommend getting in touch with them

  2. Very thoughtful post, Rick.

  3. I see and feel this Rick... time just slips by faster and faster as we get older... this is a very thought provoking piece ....

  4. You're right Rick... life seems to go by so fast like water in a river and it goes faster when it nears the decline of old age. Living in the moment with inner joy and gratitude is better than living in the past and mourning over what life could have been with all our missed opportunity. After all we are really spiritual being incased in a physical body, here to live the journey until it's our turn to return to the Creator and all is as it should be.

    When we make choices that goes against our spiritual soul, our body suffers also in form of dis-ease. It's a constant battle for every human being. We will only truly be happy when we rest in God.


    1. My condolences on the passing of your good friend.

  5. Hey Rick. I love the song; I have always had to stop to smell the coffee the roses, the sweet baby skin. We are not promised tomorrow. I met John Denver a few times. He was kinda a hard man. I waited on him in a restaurant a few times in the middle of nowhere.
    I send a prayer for you and your lovely this day...
    Miss Roxy

  6. VERY GOOD but bitter sweet column. Yes, life is real and we get one run at it. We are blessed when we get it more right than wrong.

  7. I understand completely! I lost my closest friend over a year ago last April 29th to cancer. She was more like a sister than a friend and for over 35 years we shared everything...our thoughts, our feeling, and everything about our lives! I ache so when I think about her and miss her everyday! I even dedicated my blog to post on April 29th is my favorite e.e.cummings poem for her, although I never mentioned her name there because that was a very difficult day for me, but later on my about page is her picture, and I dedicated my blog to her. I understand...and I'm sorry about your friend.

  8. Anonymous11:25 AM

    jack69 said it all for me!!

  9. A touching piece, Rick. I'm so very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Words aren't sufficient, but know that my heart tugged as I read about the passing of the friend you and Jilda have grown so close to.

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  11. Having discussed the importance of listening in a previous post, we should also discuss the art of speaking since these two things are the essence of face to face communication. In this post, I would like to deal with the subject of paraphrasing. online paraphrase generator


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