Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Years Eve

Good friends. Yes, they had been good friends all of their lives. Their children grew up together. Every New Years eve they met up once more to remember and to have fun.

Mom and Dad’s ‘gang’ were gathering at our house this New Years Eve back in the ‘60’s. We kids were all grown up. Some married. The fire was lit, hot dogs on sticks and the teasing and laughing back in place for another years end.

Dad answered the phone. We caught his end of the conversation hearing the concern in his voice. “Gene wants me to meet him at Bub’s.” Garnet had called my cousin, Gene, when Bub didn’t return from the barn. He had been gone for quite awhile. The night was cold and she was very worried. Gene did not want to walk into that barn alone.

They at the farm on the corner of Neff Road and Red River-West Grove Road. They found Bub. He had died of a heart attack. Bub was more than a neighbor. Gene and Dad farmed with him. When we worked in the field, Bub and Harold Horner teased me. Working was fun with these men. Now one was gone.

Dad came home with the news. The party atmosphere gave way to tears and reminiscing. A friend from their youth was gone. We all felt suddenly older.

We children looked at our parents and realized their loss as well as our own as we realized how quickly we could lose one of these wonderful people we loved. Perhaps the closeness of this group became a little deeper that night. Perhaps a new year was begun knowing what was truly important.

Never does a New Years Eve arrive that I don’t think of Bub. He was one of the first adult friends of my parents who became mine as well. I was no longer one of Willard’s daughters. I was Pam.

It was a cold winter night when my dad and Gene walked into that barn. They walked in with courage and left bearing much pain. We do walk forward with courage thinking we are prepared for whatever lies ahead. The older we get the more pain we bear from what life takes from us. Yet all of what was before has created the ‘we’ we’ve become. I learned a great deal that night.

We do survive pain. We do survive change. We work hard at this thing called living. But most of all we hold close to our hearts those we have now and those who have gone before. There is not a moment to lose in this short time we have on this earth.

They sat before the fire as friends meeting for one more New Years Eve. They walked out of the house on the first day of the next year holding those friendships dearer.

Hold close the moment for too quickly it slips away.

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