Until my old friend Randal Kelley died, I hadn’t realized just how important it was to me that he remain among the living. Friends from my sophomore year of college, we let geography and occupations and just plain old life see to the business of infrequent face-to-face visits. Christmas cards and phone calls kept the candle of our friendship alive…after a fashion.
But we always knew, or at least believed, we would get together again…one of these day. And then I got the sad phone call from his wife Penny. I’m not kicking myself for not making the trip to Port Townsend, but I’ll miss the notion I could visit with Randal again…one of these days.
Sometimes when I’m alone…and no one can hear…I talk to old friends long dead as if they are still living, and as if they can hear me. (What if they can? Wouldn’t that be a hoot!)
Based on memories of early times, I might stare at my tackle box and say, “Well, Benny, what should I use to catch one of these Diamond Lake rainbows?” (We had a great trip there years ago. Caught lots of fish trolling flies.) Or I’ll look in Dad’s old tool box and say, “Well, Dad, let’s see if you have the right size socket for this job.” (And the right one is usually there.)
I don’t know if there is a moral to the story, but I do know old friends and memories of old friends are one of my psychic life rafts. Now, if those who yet survive just didn’t live so far away…
No, that won’t do. It’s time to make the rounds again this year. Shoot, I might even get on a plane if it’s necessary in order to see old friends…before we run out of time…one of these days.