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Lasting Friendship

Updated on September 9, 2014

This is a very personal poem about a shy unassuming man

I'm going to call him Bob because he was a very private person, as are his family, and they would not appreciate any publicity. Bob was a good friend to me for most of our lives. Here I celebrate that friendship.


All the photos on this hub are mine.

Lasting Friendship

And so now

You have left me.

Your love was constant,

But I would not let you be beside me.

I chose another

But we were friends,

All down the long years

And now you have bowed out

A little early

And left me to struggle on

Through the gently dying days.

Your humour, though individual

And esoteric,

Has melted into the wind.

Since your passing

Tears prick my eyes

As I realize you have gone.

It would be so good

To spend an evening with you,

To hear you speak on a topic,

And then shoot off at a tangent,

At an angle too acute for me,

Until you enlightened me,

At last in your amused way.

You seemed not to realize

That other brains

Were not wired up

Like yours

And could not cope with the

Convolutions of your tales.

At school they teased you

And I sought to protect you.

And you were grateful

And gratitude turned to adoration.

But through the years

You learnt the frailty of my humanity

And loved me as a friend.

Your last few days

I spent time with you

And I still feel the joy

Of hours well spent with you.

It was so "right"

Sharing your last days

And gave completeness

To our friendship.

Your work is done,

You rest serenely.

I still have work to do

And take comfort in the memory of you,

Dear friend.

Listen

Saint John's wort

A quiet end

Bob died in April 2009. He had cancer. The previous year he had been so ill they had expected him to die then, but some how he recovered and had another year of life. He spent this year well, most days walking the dogs and enjoying the beauty of the countryside which is all around us where we live. He said he couldn't tell there was anything wrong with him. But then in his last month he lost all energy and stayed indoors. He was spared many of the problems of pain that people often suffer at this stage. He went into hospital and died there that same day.He was never one to make a fuss.

We met first at Primary School when I was 9 1/2 and he was 11. I don't remember that. When I went to the secondary school he of course was already there. He was one of those shy boys who don't like fighting and he also had a slight speech impediment. Of course, he was picked upon, though looking back I think it was very mild bullying compared with that which we hear about today. But I didn't like it and would speak up for him and try to shield him from it. Naturally he was grateful and so began the friendship which would last for the rest of his life.

Honeysuckle

A young man growing up

Bob had been coming to our Sunday School. When he was a bit older we both went to the Young People's Fellowship or YPF as we called it. There was an evangelistic mission at this time and he became a christian. Soon he was baptized and joined the church I attended. He faithfully attended that church throughout his life, whether I was there or not.

He used to get to church on some sort of moped, the sort with pedals that you had to use to help it up hill. About this time I "went out" with him for all of a fortnight. When he asked me to tea with his parents I heard warning bells ring and that was that. It could easily have gone the other way as my father took a great dislike to him, often guaranteed to make a daughter more determined to continue a relationship. But that was the end of our courting. I have always been very fond of Bob but he could be very irritating. He also teased a lot and made remarks about my clothes. I had a blue hat which he called "blue streak" after some new warhead that was out back then.

He kept up with current affairs and was fascinated with anything factual.Throughout his life he loved any sort of reference book, but had no interest in fiction. He would run circles around everyone talking about things like "The house of Keys" which thanks to him I know is the parliament of the Isle of Man. He also knew the title of the premier of Ireland was the "taoiseach" pronounced "tea-shock." He would run circles around everyone with this information. Because of this people found him strange. But he was always in full employment until the last few years when he had to have sick leave.

Buddleia

His interest in my children

I married and had children and Bob always took great interest in them. He gave them exciting and different presents at Christmas. Among these was a cardboard clock which my son had to construct for himself. He never did quite make it but he had hours of fun trying. As my son grew older Bob took him on trips to see National Trust buildings, again it was his interest in real life as opposed to fiction. The next trip amazed me. They went to see the Notting Hill Carnival. I couldn't help feeling that many of the boys who had teased Bob at school would not have been able to cope with a trip to London by car, but Bob could do it. No doubt he thoroughly researched the route from his text books.

The Paper Clock

Make Your Own Working Paper Clock
Make Your Own Working Paper Clock

This is the very same book that Bob gave to my son, who had hours of fun constructing the clock. He was a little bit young for the task and didn't manage to complete it but, nevertheless, enjoyed trying.

 

Veronica

And life will have its little day

My first marriage ended and I was under a cloud, quite naturally as I went to live with the man who became my second husband. I had broken every rule I had been brought up to keep. But Bob was still there and would visit us. It was good of him but sometimes he was a bit difficult to get rid of. He loved to talk, but he had met his match in my second husband who also could talk the hind leg off a donkey as they quaintly say. Sometimes Bob would bring the dogs. They belonged to Stella. I'd forgotten to tell you about Stella. About ten years previous to this Bob had met Stella and formed a friendship. They had been on holiday together and we were all waiting for wedding bells but then things quietened down into a lovely friendship. So this was how the dog walking began.

My second marriage ended and again Bob would visit me. When he was nervous he would tend to talk rubbish and try to entangle you in strange names from far off places. But when he relaxed he had many sensible things to contribute. He coped quietly and admirably with his last illness. I feel it is significant that I moved to live in his village for the last six months of his life. Of course this meant that I was on hand to visit him at that time, I didn't move there for that reason, but a higher hand than mine obviously intended it so. He never once complained about his illness and it's obvious expected outcome. Once he said wistfully that he would like to have had a wife and children, but it was not to be. I felt the sadness of that moment and it touches me now. But friendship is a wonderful thing and sometimes spoilt by marriage. We expect too much of each other when we are married that a friend would not lumber us with.

His last week I visited him every day. He apparently had a little pain, may be it was more than I realized for he complained little. He was unable to eat or if he did vomited. I guess his body was saying "There's no point." His last day he was taken into hospital and my last visit to him was there. The nurse asked if I was his wife. That was a poignant moment. I spent a few moments with him and then his brother arrived so I left them alone. He died that evening.

He was a very private quiet man but made his contribution to life in its rich variety. He was certainly unusual. He made a bigger impression on my life than I would have expected all those years ago, when as a girl of sixteen, I turned down his offer of tea with his mother.

Does this lens give you echoes of your own friendships?

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    • profile image

      Winter 2 years ago

      Wow! That's a really neat anwesr!

    • profile image

      Cathy 2 years ago

      Kudos to you! I hadn't thughot of that!

    • profile image

      Crissy 2 years ago

      In the comapiclted world we live in, it's good to find simple solutions.

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 5 years ago

      Blessed-You were lucky to have atrue friend all through the yeats

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 5 years ago

      This is an inspiring lens. I am glad that you've been blessed with a good friend. And I am sorry for your loss.

    • profile image

      wecomparebooks 5 years ago

      This is a beautiful lens. I'm sorry for your loss

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Returning with an angel smile for this lovely story of friendship over the decades, a work of the heart!

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 6 years ago

      I've had many acquaintances an' been blessed to have a number of dear friends whom I love, as well. My heart goes out to Bob because he wished for a family. However, I feel that he did have a family with you an' your family.

      Bob seems like such a nice person. I'm so happy for the friendship you an' he were able to share. Your love for this friend is very clear in your writing. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful part of your life.

    • BrandonSharp profile image

      BrandonSharp 6 years ago

      This is a beautiful lens. True friends really are hard to find these days. I really enjoyed reading your story.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 6 years ago

      A very touching story. Thanks for sharing it. True friends are genuine treasures. We don't get enough of them in life, and to lose one is always terrible. The line in your poem.....To hear you speak on a topic.....reminded me of loved ones I have lost. That is the thing I miss most.....not being able to hear them speak. If I had wings, I would bless this lens, but sorry I do not.

    • elyria profile image

      elyria 6 years ago

      I enjoyed the story about your friend so much and it is wonderful that you keep memories alive, thank you for sharing.

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing - very touching story. So sorry Bob lost his battle with cancer :(

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A pastor once said to consider that every person who crosses your life path has the hand of God on them for a purpose....that is certainly evidenced in the friendship that you and Bob shared through decades. I found myself almost holding my breath as was invited into this intimate friendship...it seems there is as much "between the lines" as you have shared....beautifully done once again and a precious tribute to this dear friend, "Bob"!

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Touching story, beautiful tribute.

    • monarch13 profile image

      monarch13 7 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing with us! 5 * and rolled to "Symbols of Friendship". Feel free to add it to the plexo there, if you would like, as well.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I enjoyed the poem and the excellent story of Bob - what a wonderful man he must have been and what a great friend. I have to admit to having a tear in my eye.

    • Momtothezoo profile image

      Eugenia S. Hunt 8 years ago

      I love the poem and the story...what a wonderful tribute!

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 8 years ago

      The poem had an astounding effect on me. What a beautiful, heart breaking story. I cannot wait to be in class with you!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Very well done. Nice tribute to your friend.

    • profile image

      c62cm08 8 years ago

      Touching tribute to realize how important friendship can really be..

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      The beauty and depth of this friendship really touched our hearts. Your gift of expression will bless others as they consider similar friendships they have known. He desired you as a wife; it was not to be and yet you were always there for each other as helpmates. Beautiful

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Liz, this lens is so beautiful because of the deep bond between both of you. Thank you for sharing this poignant story. It should be a lesson to all of us to value life and relationships. If only everyone of us had a Bob in our lives.

    • glenbrook profile image

      glenbrook 8 years ago

      A very nice tribute to your friend.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      What a beautiful poem as well as the lens. I love the pictures. I like the story you share and it will be a help to those who lost love ones.

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 8 years ago

      This is just lovely. Thank you for sharing your story of friendship.

    • profile image

      poutine 8 years ago

      Such a beautiful tribute to a friend.