24 October 2014

"Old Age Is A Shipwreck"

The story of Marshal Petain, the great general of WWI whose collaboration with the Nazis after France was invaded by Hitler dimmed his achievements is a great tragedy. When he was endorsing the verdict of the trial court that convicted Petain or treason, De Galle is reported to have said, "Old Age is a Shipwreck." Tonight as one of our longest friendships ends with the passing of Brian from life through death to glory, I see the waves breaking on the rocks.

Brian, a PhD mathematician, and amazingly bright man was always good for a joke or observation. He had the remarkably good taste to love Pat who has been Sue-z's best friend since they met in 1960. We four, camping buddies, drinking buddies, and yes sometimes pot smoking buddies, have shared a long road, and a loving road.

Old age is a shipwreck.

Brian lost a leg to diabetes, and a heart valve to aging. He was however in remarkably good spirits when last we talked. He was hoping to get out of rehab and home soon. Things did not work out that way.

He developed pneumonia, and became comatose early this week. As I write this, the hospital staff is withdrawing the life support technology. He likely will die before dawn. His wife will be with him and our prayers for him will carry him heavenward. Ah but it is hard, hard, to loose friends.

Old age is a shipwreck.

Sue-z and I are sitting with my daughter-in-law sipping sweet wine and toasting him and his entry into paradise. We have what our Lutheran friends call the "Glad hope of a joyous reunion." But we are still weeping.

Old age is a shipwreck.

2 comments:

June Butler said...

Very sorry about your friend, Jim.

Jim said...

Thanks June.

We are all hurting here, but for Brian, whose final illness lasted only a few days, the battle is over, the victory won.

St Laika's

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