Post #303 I’ve stated before that I read the local obituaries. Yeah, I know the joke, if you don’t see your name you know you’re still alive. But, like most people, as we get older, we look for someone we know, or a relative of someone we know, or is it who we knew, since they are no longer among us. I got this call the other day, it was from a friend’s wife. (I sensed she was about to tell me that my friend was seriously ill) She had been trying to locate me. Her husband, my friend of 30+ years had passed away a month previous. Sure after retirement, just like everyone else we intend to stay in contact, but it never happens. The first thing that popped into my head, was, how proud he was that a number of us had passed through the Indiana Business College in our youth, and had achieved middle management levels with our employer.
I lost a friend the other day, that thought threw me back. I remember my father telling me the same thing. In his case, he stated that he had lost his best friend.
I’ve also have mentioned for fun or reality that I was/am an only child. There’s all kinds of stories associated with that information, but most importantly I recall that I was expected to act mature faster than other kids. I think a lot of that came from my father’s work and his employer, business/family trips we made and things we did and saw, that, seemly put me onto fast tract to acting mature. (although certainly there must be things I did that my parents would have questioned whether or nor I was mature)
Be that as it may, I was in my 20’s, struggling in college, changing courses left and right because life’s direction was a loss for me. While shopping, I ran into my father’s best friend and we chatted. He had an observation and commented on it; “Well, how’s classes? Are you having fun with dad’s money while you can?” I knew that this man and my father talked over coffee often, maybe daily, and certainly this comment must have reflected things my father and he had shared. It seemed the epitome of a father’s disappointment in his son. I dwelt on this comment, which drove a wedge between my father and I. I took a step back from my father, cautious in my interactions. Not wanting to look for dependence or for help or guidance. I didn’t want to foster additional disappointment in his eyes. Sure there were some things that we shared, occasional hobbies, my family etc, but caution was always around.
We sat at the his kitchen table. I was at least 30 years older, my children had left home, he was retired and my retirement was on the horizon. He was getting older and he wanted to share his sorrow as he said, “I lost my best friend the other day”. I paused and for the first time shared the day that the wedge drove us apart. I was choked with the sorrow of what I told and cried for the first time in years. He was shocked at the burden I had carrying. Shocked about a disappointment that he NEVER had. There wasn’t much time after that.
I lost a friend the other day………