This weekend, we were informed of the sudden death of a man my husband has known since high school. This man was DH's best friend for many years. We spent time socializing when the kids were all small, visiting each other's homes and going on 'double dates' with him and his wife.
Over the years we lost touch, but would exchange Christmas cards saying 'let's get together'. Sadly, even with the best of intentions we never did. I think the last time we saw them was at a family funeral, probably over 10 years ago.
I remember him as a gentle, soft-spoken man. He loved his family, was a proud and caring father and a devoted son to his parents. He and his wife and my DH grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same schools and churches, and shared many values. Not that they were peas in a pod, but you know how it is with the familiar and safe.
I was a new and unique ingredient in the mix when DH and I married. I am a good deal younger then the rest of them, and I had a different take on a lot of things. We didn't always have converging viewpoints, and I'm sure my opinions sometimes threw a monkey wrench into things. But overall, we valued their friendship. DH is not hugely sociable, and when family events made picking a date to get together kind of tough, he didn't seem to mind not visiting with his friend.
Would he have liked to socialize with his friend more? Should I have encouraged him to call and make fishing dates or coffee dates? He's an adult, he can make his own decisions, but could he have used more motivation? He DOES get together with other friends, and those get-togethers are initiated by the other party as frequently as by DH.
I guess the moral of this story is not to take a single day for granted. You will never know how many days you have left on this planet, only God knows that. Stay in touch with those you care about and don't wait for them to call you. Go outside your immediate circle and let people know you're still around!
The good news is I know that this man knew Jesus, so I know he's going to heaven and I'll see him again. (I hope that didn't offend anyone, but this is MY blog, after all.)
So wait for us on the other side, old friend. We'll miss you.