Goodbye my Friend

Many of you that read our blog on a regular basis may or may not know that two Webner sisters, Cathy and Margaret, married two brothers Alec and Chris and last night their father Bill, who I referred to fondly as Mr H, passed away at the age of 91.

Mr H lived a long and productive life and was a good friend not to mention a long time bridge partner. He would often tell people that I was the only one that understood his bridge bidding, but to be totally honest with you most of the time I didn’t have a clue what he was doing. I will always remember his dealing the cards, then picking them up and saying who dealt this mess while the rest of us at the table in unison would laughingly say, you did !

When I retired a couple of years ago Mr H and I had the opportunity to meet for lunch on a pretty regular basis. I enjoyed our chats whether it would be about current events or some family issue that would arise from time to time. He was an interesting person to talk to and fun to be with. I could usually tell when he was in a talkative mood if he ordered two Miller lites as opposed to one. When I would drop him off he would usually say Jim I enjoy your company because we see eye to eye on things and I like what I see, of course I would say the feeling is mutual Mr H.

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to say goodbye to him when he was resting comfortably at Mayfair Village. While I stood there I couldn’t help but recall how much he talked about Mae and their relationship during our lunches and how much he was looking forward to being reunited with the love of his life for more than fifty years. He told me the day he proposed to Mae that he was surprised she said yes, but that it was the happiest day of his life.

Mr H was particularly proud of his Irish American heritage and talked about it frequently so in his memory I would like to offer “Remembered Joy” an Irish Poem that I love.

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free. I’m following the path God laid for me. I took his hand when I heard him call. I turned my back and left it all. I could not stay another day. To laugh, to love, to work or play. Tasks left undone must stay that way. I found that peace at close of day.

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. Be not burdened with times of sorrow; I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow. My life’s been full, I’ve savored much; Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief; Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief. Lift up your hearts and share with me; God wanted me now; he has set me free.

Saying Goodbye to a Friend

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.