A Special Friendship

Hmm where to begin….
I met a man many years ago. An elderly man that volunteered at the hospital.  At the time I worked in Cardiac.  We quickly became friends as he transported patients in and out of my unit.  His wife also volunteered, she passed away shortly after I started at the hospital.  I then transferred to the Volunteer Department and our friendship blossomed.  We had many chats on everything you could imagine.  He was a very prominent man in the community and church.  He was a WWII veteran and often spoke of his time overseas.  He was a pilot and was shot down.  He was rescued and survived under the attentive care of the village women and children.  He and his lovely wife visited the village often through the years as they had built special friendships.  When his wife passed away he returned to the village.  They had prepared a memorial for her.  I think it stands beside the memorial they have for his heroism in the war for protecting them.  I loved hearing his stories.  Especially the war stories, some of them cheerful and comical, he rarely spoke of the unkind acts.  But mostly of his and his buddies survival.
Then I moved away for four years, we stayed in touch via email.  When I returned home for weekend family time I often stopped at the hospital.  We’d hug and chat some more.  Now, I’ve moved back home.  After a year in a different job at the hospital, my old job became available, and turned out to be mine once again.  We picked up right where we left off.  I remember my first day back in the volunteer office, what an incredible bear hug I received.  His age has caught up with him, he no longer transports patients but instead dispatchs for the transports.  That kept him at the desk but still in a very busy area of the hospital.
He began having some health issue’s.  Then I received the dreaded phone call from his daughter, he was given 2-4 weeks due to kidney failure.  He seemed to not be ready to give in to his illness, so his family moved him to a very nice nursing home where he enjoys the best care.  Hospice visits too.  I needed to visit him for what I knew would be the last time.  Surprisingly he looks wonderful.  He looked up at me at the door, the biggest smile I have ever seen filled his beautiful face and once again he wrapped his arms around me for my last bear hug.  He is still just as sharp as ever.  He also told me about a boat ride at our lake the following day.  He seemed a little nervous but I know he’ll gather his strength and have a wonderful time. 
And, he told me another story, the last one I would ever hear from him.  He bought his wife a diamond tennis bracelet, it contained a diamond for every year of their blissful marriage, they were so in love.  Over the years he has taken a diamond from that bracelet and made a piece of jewelry for his family.  Earrings for his daughters, grand-daughters, and great grand-daughters.  The men of the family got a diamond tie clip.  I wanted to cry right then and there from the beauty of the story but I couldn’t.  The love and joy from him consumed me. 
He has touched so many lives, has made so many friendships over the years, it’s just not time yet.  There are still good-byes to made.  Friends to see one more time.  He knows his time is coming and he has accepted it with the courage and faith that I knew he would.  A beautiful man.  A lovely person.
I had to share, I am blessed to have had his friendship and share in his life.  I hope you all have met someone like this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s