Reflections……………………………My Friend

 

Herbert Mobley

Sitting atop a hill the church glistened in the sunlight. There had not been any announcement, visiting hours or other communication indicating there was to be a funeral this day. However, in the back side of the cemetery was a solitary tent with chairs as if a funeral was expected.

Long before the appointed hour cars began to arrive and arrive they did, in record numbers.

It was only a few days before when my friend had been taken to the hospital for acute heart congestion. In short time it became evident the death angel had arrived. With family gathered at the bedside quietly singing the great old gospel Amazing Grace, and as his wife kissed him, my friend slipped off into eternity. All who were present; doctors, technicians, nurses who were witnessing the scene were filled with tears and emotion.

Several weeks earlier my friend and I had breakfast together. It was here he shared his thoughts about the impending events. “Gary, I am tired.” and “I am not afraid of dying…. “I know where I am going and I look forward to it.” On this occasion, as before, he and I engaged in some deep theological and philosophical discussions. It would be the last of such discussions. I shall never forget our talk centering on what it takes to have a successful life. His comments were: “It is relatively simple with only three things God requires of us.” First, stand for what is just……always do what is right…… it is never wrong to do what is right.” Secondly, love mercy…have a forgiving spirit. Thirdly, walk humbly with God….. have fellowship with Him and one another. (Micah 6:8 paraphrased). These were the three principles that governed my friend’s everyday life.

Herbert, my friend, and I had spent our formative years in school and as teenagers worked in many differ venues together. We spent time hunting wild game and did our fair amount of ‘cruisin.’ Although time and distance separated us in our adult life, we were always able to “pick up” where we left off.

In keeping with my friend’s wishes, it was a funeral without any sermons, eulogies or speeches, just simple reflections on a life well lived. A church yard filled to overflowing with very adjective you can think of describing this giant of a man….My Friend. It is no doubt we will see each other again and pick up where we left off…….

Reflections……………………Super Seniors

They began to arrive a full ten minutes before the appointed hour. ‘Fashionably late’ does not exist in their vocabulary. Their step was not as lively as it once was and their hearing not as acute. Vision has to be assisted with glasses and their mental processing, while outstanding, is not as readily apparent as in early days. This was a group, 35 in number, June and I invited to our home for an afternoon of fun and festivities. They represent the matriarchs of the town of Sewanee, Tennessee. They are the heart of the local Woman’s Club, Book Club, Garden Club and the list goes on. They come from a wide array of backgrounds and are well versed in world culture having traveled extensively. The majority are widows with an age range from 65 to 87.

Many of their husbands were professors at the University of the South. The one common denominator is their extensive volunteer work at the Hospitality House, a place designed to help others and provide services for less fortunate, high school scholarships and programs at the local medical facility.

In addition to the grandiose array of food, it was a time of Christmas remembrances and I remember when.” Fifteen questions of Christmas Trivia were prepared in advance and made for lively conversation and laughter. The neighbors could surely hear our voices when the trivia question was asked: “What Christmas carol does the Peanuts gang sing at the end of A Charlie Brown Christmas?’ It was Eleanor, our Senior member, who came forth with a strong and beautiful voice leading us with “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”                    

Today our home is quiet as we await our family’s arrival for our annual celebration. I cannot help but smile as I reflect on having been apart of a joyous occasion with a group of individuals who have made this year’s celebration EXTRA SPECIAL !