Well today was supposed to be like any other Thursday since the beginning of May and I planned on meeting up with my good friend Paul to go visit our friend Jeff. The three of us spent alot of time together back in our twenties, camping, playing basketball, tipping back an occasional beer and just enjoying life in general. I have particularly fond memories of Jeff coming over to my parents house on Buckley Road where we would sit by the pool playing cribbage for hours on end.
Jeff became a successful family doctor, married his beautiful wife Karen and they had two wonderful children. Jeff and I would talk on occasion always promising to get together, but with our hectic schedules we were not able to so. A few years ago Jeff began to have trouble with his gait while vacationing with his family and was sadly diagnosed with a rare disease called supranuclear palsy in his mid-forties.
The frustrating thing for me was when I was first able to visit Jeff after he had been diagnosed he had already lost his ability to talk, but he could use a laptop on which he communicated to us that he was a prisoner in his own body. So just about every Thursday for the past four months Paul and I have made the trek over to Gahanna to see Jeff who would sit and listen often laughing at our stories about the good old days.
Jeff died last night so we didn’t get to see him today, but in his memory I wanted to offer “Remembered Joy” as follows:
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free ! I followed the plan God laid for me. I saw his face, I heard his call, I took his hand and left it all. I could not stay another day, to love, to laugh, to work or play; tasks left undone must stay that way.
And if my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembered joy. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss – ah yes, these things I too shall miss. My life’s been full, I’ve savoured much: good times, good friends, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief so don’t shorten yours with undue grief. Be not burdened with tears of sorrow, enjoy the sunshine of the morrow.