Friday, December 20, 2013
I Should Be So Blessed
When Deddy was sick, just about anything he could have felt would have been justified. He could have been bitter, angry, devastated, or experienced any other negative feeling one can have in his situation, but he wasn’t. He was disappointed of the circumstances. He was sad that he was leaving his family and friends. He felt responsible for everyone around him and he wanted to ensure that everyone was taken care of. That was the most difficult aspect of dying that he had to overcome, the fact that he would not be here to see people through life. He never mentioned making more money, or buying anything else. He just wanted to be here, and not for himself, but for everyone else. However, in the end, worn down by a year of doctors, treatments, and becoming more feeble, he had accepted his fate. He had made peace with God long before his final demise. That gave everyone around him more comfort than anything.
The lesson I gained during that time of my life was what is actually important in this life we live. It’s not any amount of fame or fortune. It’s not the material things we accumulate. What is most important is what we accomplish as a person, whether or not we make a positive impact on the world and the friendships we make.
I have a lot of friends as most of us do. I know a lot of wonderful people in this world. But the true friendships are really the ones that get you through life. I have many friends that I don’t see a lot and some I have not seen in years. But I can honestly say that many of them would help me if they could in one way or another. They also know that if they needed my help, I would do anything I could for them. As I get older, friendship becomes a lot more important to me. Some of the best friendships I have are with individuals that most people don’t know I’m friends with. Several of those individuals were acquaintances before this year but became great friends to me in 2013.
When life gets difficult in one way or another, that is when you really need the people around you. Those times will come for almost all of us, and there is not an investment you can make at any point in your life that will pay more dividends than friends. My family history is not favorable for me to live a long life and I know that. It actually worries me sometimes. I hope that I can have everything in order before my time comes whether that is 1 year or 60 years. But honestly, the worry for me is two fold: the fact that I may not live to be old and that I may live to be TOO old. I think what worries me more than dying is being the last one left. “The Green Mile” is one of my favorite movies, but the end is really sad to me because all of the people that Paul Edgecomb loved have passed away. Instead of a blessing, he believes it may be a curse.
Tonight I will go to the long standing tradition of “Uncle Boyd’s Christmas Party” where I will be surrounded by family and friends. We’ll sit around and talk, shoot pool, eat, and of course play EXTREMELY high stakes poker with as much as $2 sometimes being in the pot! Without fail, Deddy will be mentioned numerous times. I will be told how much he is missed, funny stories of all sorts about him, and I will be told multiple times that I look more like him the older I get. There will be animated conversations and if any NEW guests show up and get out of hand, I will banish them from the party for at least one year. If you don’t believe me, ask someone. Uncle Sammy made some new rules last year……”NO POLITICS; you can talk about 3 things, 1. Christmas 2. Santa Claus and 3. Jesus!” Then he asked “does everybody understand me?” Everyone understood. Uncle Boyd’s Christmas Party is NOT a democracy. The Council makes the rules and everybody follows them. If you don’t like the process, that is no problem, you were not invited anyway.
Tonight reiterates my belief that friendship is one of the most important aspects of life. In my opinion, second only to family. I am so grateful for my friends. Many of you that read this particular blog may not even realize what a good friend you are to me. Friends are not just people to know, they are people to cherish. When Deddy died, Barbecue Church was PACKED at his funeral. Not only were people standing all around in the church, they were even standing outside. That is a testament of a life well lived. I should be so fortunate to look back on my own life and be able to say the same thing. I should be so blessed to have that many friends.