Thursday, September 4, 2008
The last of life, for which the first was made
On Thursday evenings when Mrs. Rhymeswithplague and I aren’t otherwise committed, we like to eat out with a group of old friends at a local family-style (translation: cheap) restaurant. And when I say “old friends” I mean OLD friends. This started out as the senior group, as in senior citizens, from our church way back before we ourselves were included in that category. The participants have changed over the years as people have moved or died or become home-bound with the frailties of age or disease. The diners in the current group range from 62 to 90 years of age. Except for Patrick, Esther’s brain-damaged, 40-year-old son whom we all love and who always attends with his mother, I am usually the lone guy in the group now, unless Wayne comes with Sharon. Lewis and Anne are both gone. Jeanne’s Hugh died in June. Moffie is at home with Bob, who has Alzheimer’s. Audrey is at home with her Bob, who has Parkinson’s. Several ladies are widows. Face it, old age ain’t for sissies. We hope to be active as long as possible.
Anyway, Audrey has invited the group for dessert tonight, so we are planning to gather at a different restaurant to be nearer Bob’s and Audrey’s house. As we haven’t seen Bob for several months, we’re looking forward to this evening.
Robert Browning said it best in “Rabbi Ben Ezra” and I think it applies to friends no less than to husbands and wives:
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith ‘A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!’