My friend was someone who I only met after turning fifty. He initially was a submordinate of mine at work, yet over the following years we had a bond through our shared views and values, similar experiences both good and bad in life, and all of these things just brought us closer together. Later, as I reached retirement age and he moved from Florida to the north, we still kept in touch usually once or twice a week. We would talk current events including politics, share our views on life and encourage one another. We both looked forward to our frequent chats and even met in person a few times and talked about how we had come to know one another and share things that we just couldn't share with others. It was a great and valuable relationship and I believe we both cherished it.
About a year ago, I noticed some changes. They were subtle, but when we talked he was forgetful and he seldom remembered us having talked recently. I asked him if he was okay. He replied by telling me he had a mini-stroke and was recovering and would be fine, but there was just something about the way he said it that wasn't convincing. I didn't pursue my concern since I knew he obviously didn't want to tell me more. Over the next several months, he would tell me about his appointments with the doctor and how he had given up on his internet search on subjects he loved, such as history. He had lost interest in some of the things I remembered him liking so much. Often he couldn't be reached, but then he would ultimately call and say that things were fine and not to worry. Now, however, it's been over six months since we've connected and I know something serious must have happened. I worry about him being in assisted living or even having died, but I have tried many avenues to link up with him and to no avail. Thinking back about our friendship, I remember with fondness his sarcastic wit, his analytical skills and his willingness to only offer suggestions if I wanted them. It was a good give and take and the beautiful picture and thought at the beginning of this commentary says it well. It had to be a friendship developed according to God's will and I am thankful for the time we had together.
I'll close with this. Thank you to my Newport News friend for reminding me of this special person and what he meant to me. And now I will go forth with greater effort to locate him or his wife and find out if he is, indeed, still with us and in what condition. It's the least I can do. And thank you, God, for providing this good friend to add to the richness of my life. We only go around once in this world and we need to appreciate all the components that make our life livable. Having a good friend we can trust and confide in is one of the best. God bless you all.