Blog 1593 – 01.29.2020
The Beatles of my youth sang, “I say ‘hello’, you say ‘good-bye.’” It is not just a problem of youth but one of the most challenging things about aging – this making new friends and saying fond farewells to so many and dear ones along the way.
Some years ago I saw an interview on ABC’s 20/20 where the lovely Barbara Walters was asking several folks more than ten years passed one-hundred what they thought was the secret to a long and happy life. I remember one older young man, in his second set of teens, saying that he thought the secret to a long and happy life was continuing to make lots of younger new friends so you would not run out of friends nor reasons to stick around.
In the wonderful sequel to Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon’s classic movie hit Grumpy Old Men called Grumpier Old Men, Jack’s character’s dad, played by veteran character actor Burgess Meredith, says to his son, “All my life long friends have passed. I think God may have forgotten me.” Toward the end of the movie Walter Matthau’s character finds Jack’s dad sitting on a couch by the lake where he had died fishing (not a bad way to go.) Letting his buddy know Walter simply says, “God remembered your dad.”
Burgess’ character was never forgotten nor are we. And no matter how many friends we make or lose there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother and has promised not only to never leave us but to see that we are escorted home as soon as the chores we have set for ourselves are done.
Believing that, is why I am pretty sure that though many I have known, loved, and had to say good-bye to did not make it to the sixty-nine years that I have, that I will stick around several if not many more years to come. One chore I have come to adore more than others is saying hello to new places, faces, and friends even if that means many and more often sad good-byes. I believe with the Indigo Girls and my beloved and dearly departed daughter, Emily, that we are indeed “Better Off For All That We Let In.”
Here’s to seeing many more new and interesting places, to making many more, new, and younger friends, and to sticking around as long as I can, as long as it’s fun. And friends make it so.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
All That We Let In