"The Loss of a Friend" By Rolly A. Chabot
Occasionally in life we are blessed with the beauty of true friendship. It is a friendship that never questions it just gives. Never asks why it just does. It is something we never understand and yet we accept. It just is.
I am no guru on life. Not a man who knows anything over and above the next. Just a man who knows when he has been blessed with friendship. I have suffered through two losses this year. Both were men that had a huge impact on me. Both were as far apart as men could be and yet they both had a common thread that smacked in the face of any they had met.
Welcome once again to the lagging Fireside. I could give the lack of writing to all sorts of excuses but I will use this one. I have been grieving. It is something we will all go through. It is something we will all leave when we pass. It is something we can not avoid. It is called death and something none of us like to write about.
Come along with me on this journey of memories and above all else know that you are dearly loved. I say that with the certainty that death is something that may take me at anytime. That is what we call life, if nothing else is taken from this take that you have blessed me with your words of encouragement, your caring and gracious attitudes to my rants and raves... again know that you are loved.
In the Wind
Have you ever wondered what would be said over you at your funeral, your celebration of live, the gathering of people whom you have touched. Hopefully that gathering would be of people you loved or those whom loved you. I once read a book that spoke of such a gathering that impacted me greatly. The writer asked you the reader to pretend that you had passed away. You were perched high above listening to what was spoken about you. Sobering when you think of it.
What would be spoken of you. This place that we call life. The place where we are given but one chance to leave a lasting impression on those we touch. What would be spoken. Would it be the truth about our lives. Would people actually talk about the pain and the suffering you bestowed upon them or would the truth be spoken about you and the trail of destruction that you left in the one life or the many. What would be said about you.
Just a few thoughts too ponder and thoughts which may change us when we think before we say. Take the time to choose the words you speak carefully. One word spoken in haste can change another persons life. Sometimes the damaging words can take hold and become deep seated and cause great pain.
Our words are like the wind. Do they simply fall out and stop where they land. No they carry on forever. They can be words of love, words of encouragement words that lift the spirits of others. These are the words I like to think I leave behind. A while back I witnessed a man at a cashier till ordering his morning coffee. Well dressed and like many in a hurry. He ordered at the same time as he was talking on the phone. His voice carried throughout the line of people. He dazzled people with financial numbers most had never heard before. Buy this and sell that. I like many others were impressed.
That was until he received his coffee and it had been made wrong. What followed was a volley of abuse to the young girl at the counter who had taken his order. The volley was gruelling and it was easy to tell she was upset and close to tears. His order was made again all the while he continued to talk on the phone. He stopped long enough to reprimand the young cashier again. It was then the manager and a young assistant stepped out from behind the counter and escorted the suit out the door rather briskly. All this took place under a resounding round of applause. I ask you again can we change lives of people around us?
Each person in the line that day spoke words of encouragement to that young lady. Many of us apologized for the mans action. Within weeks that same young lady knew all of our orders by heart. Again I ask can we change the lives of people aroud us? I know one young lady that will tell you yes and is able to define the difference between kind words or words that hurt. It was the love and genuine caring that changed her that day. Not the words of some raving lunatic that was in need of finding another victim of his ruthless demands.
Now allow me to share with you a little about two such men, friends who taught so well the meaning of blessing others and yet in different ways.
David was a man who made an impact on me. He was a writer here on hub pages, You may have known David for his writing of faith and his family who he dearly loved. A man who spoke freely of his faith no matter where he would find himself.
I first ran across David here on Hub Pages and began to follow his writings. Before long we were exchanging emails and soon after phone calls. David became a part of my life and shared many of his struggles with me. Even though the friendship only lasted a few years I think of David often. David passed away suddenly this past summer and I was truly blessed with getting to know this man and his family.
David had many gifts, his greatest to me was his gift of encouragement. "Rolly when you write, write from the heart. The heart is what will touch the reader." I can still hear his soft voice encouraging. David was a man who could speak about love openly and freely with anyone. Once David had told you he loved you, well you just knew that you were loved.
I miss my friend, yet I know David is with his main love and that was his Father above. It was where his heart was set. God, Family and work was the proper order for David and he lived it accordingly. Thank you David for speaking into my life. You are dearly missed...
Dennis and I had a special friendship that lasted over the span of some 25 years or more. Dennis was a tall man who walked with confidence knowing who he was. He was a man who had an appreciation for nature, family and an all around solid lifestyle that gave him peace at the end of each day.
His good nature was one that was easily abused because he gave of himself at all times. Yet Dennis had a crusty side from all the abuse he took over the years from business partners and those who took advantage of him. Yet he could forgive and move on. Dennis through all of this was a man of his word and often took on paying off the debts that would be left in the wake.
We connected immediately through the love of motorcycles and riding on the open road. He became known as my "Dirty Filthy Biker Buddy." A Sunday ride for us could mean as much as 800 miles. Each year we would ride what became known as "The Annual Numb Bum." It was a must every year, 2000 miles of travelling through the cold to the warmer climates of the south. Then back to the cold again. Complain as I may, the grin on his face was enough to plod on for both of us. How often would I see his all red face from windburn and yet when he took off his sunglasses the characteristic racoon eyes, his would as white as can be.
Sadly Dennis passed away a few weeks ago. A freak accident while he was clearing snow with his tractor. So unlike Dennis as he was always so careful. The tractor slipped off the road and rolled over pinning him. It happened at 1:30 in the afternoon and Carol his wife called me at 4 that afternoon.
As I stood before the congregation of people I spoke of the fact it was just like Dennis to bring the 200 or more people together to celebrate the life of a man who touched all present. My words were Dennis is not dead, he is alive and living within us all. His life was infused with love into each of us. He lives on today. Do I miss my friend, of course bu I hold so many memories of him and our riding over the unending miles. The struggles and the joys we shared supersede his passing in many ways.
Dennis had a bike which was bigger than mine. No matter how hard I tried I could never go faster than him. Well that was until I had the engine worked over unknown to him. I pulled up beside him the first day out. He smiled and took off ahead. The look on his face was priceless as I pulled up beside him again and opened the throttle and left him in the dust. Later when we stopped he asked what my secret was? My response was back at the Esso station I put a tiger in my tank. He only laughed and he said must have been a herd of them. Man that thing goes.
Take a moment this day and ponder what you have left in the hearts of others. Some we struggle to forgive for their greed and wrongful doings against us. We can forgive and move along and choose to not spend anymore time near them. Some people we have hurt may never forgive us for our past indiscretions. But it is how we live today which can change us as people.
The two novel series I am writing right now have been dedicated to these two men and the seeds they planted in me. Thank you gentleman for all you have given. Thank you all who have joined me at the Fireside... know that you are dearly loved and may your day end with knowing so...
What Can Be Said
From death comes new life. Look at this picture and think of this for a moment. Nature is much like our lives. What dies and falls to the ground will nourish the next generation or in my case the relationships I formed with these men. What they have taught is deep seated and lives on today.
Have I made mistakes in life? Of course! Have I learned from them? Certainly. Will I live a better life and maybe enrich another through what I have learned? Without a doubt. Can I do better? I know I can if I choose to do so.
You see at the end of the day I think it important to sit and reflect on all that has taken place. What you have done and what you have said. The question I have is there something you can do to change. Yesterday has passed, tomorrow is still to come. Today is the day that counts. Can you make a difference, of course all you need to do is step from your comfort zone and reach out to another.
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