Thanksgiving Remembrance — A Friend Now Gone

Since it’s the season for giving thanks, I want to give thanks to someone now gone who enriched my life. You may also have had a loved one or dear friend pass away this year who deserves a moment out of your day when you picture him/her clearly in your mind and remember all the great ways this person influenced or affected you.

I first met Mick and his wife, Barbara, through my husband (who wasn’t my husband yet, just a great guy that I had met and decided right away I liked). They were all friends. Mick and Barbara were excited that their friend had met someone nice (me). He would go to their home every week to talk about things going on in the world and invited me to come along so we could all meet. Fine with me.

The meeting went well. Both Mick and Barbara were pleasant to be with and understanding of my being a bit nervous at the “interview.” Mick was someone who definitely had his two feet planted squarely on the ground. He had led a very interesting life, including serving in the military, and it all combined into a package that could be described by the word “competence.” He advised businesses on how to reorganize so they would be more streamlined and efficient.

Over the years, hubby and I actually consulted with him (on a much smaller scale) about how best to handle some ideas we had. He was always willing to chat and provide some input and encouragement. Thanks to him, hubby and I made great strides toward redirecting our lives to what we wanted to be doing as opposed to just a job to earn money.

Awhile ago we learned that he had been diagnosed with cancer. By this time, he and Barbara were both retired and living in a nice house they had selected in a warm climate to live out their “golden years.” It turned out that part of those “golden years” was to be spent doing what they could to fight off the cancer. With his usual level-headedness, Mick made choices on which treatments to pursue and which would be worse than the disease. Hubby and I were able to visit once before his condition got too advanced and were treated to a wonderful time by both of them.

We weren’t able to visit during the last two years when he was fighting the most valiantly. Our jobs and then our lack of jobs seemed to keep us from the long trip. We talked frequently on the phone and were always impressed with how Mick never whined, never did any verbal hand-wringing over his lot in life. In fact, he always maintained the attitude that this cancer was just another fact of life.

Barbara called us a day or two after our last phone call to them and gave us the news: Mick was gone.

He will live on long in our memories, and our friendship with Barbara goes on. At this time of year, we are so thankful for such friends.

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