I lost a dear friend today (March 4, 2022). His loving daughter called to let me know that her daddy, my good bud, had passed away in his sleep. She told me not to grieve, that he had been “livin’ the good life” and died peacefully, just as he had once wished. I thanked her, asked that she pass my love on to her mama, and then sat on my back yard deck and cried like a baby. Women are wonderfully connected; men, not so much. It’s rare for a guy to have more than two or three truly close friends, and it surprised me as to how much it hurt to lose him.
We worked together as long-time speakers for Dental Hygiene Seminars, helping prepare senior dental hygiene students for their national board exam. Needless to say, we had more than a few adventures along the way. Although the 2020 pandemic prevented us from teaching together the last couple of years, I planned to visit him this July while teaching a course in his hometown. I’ll miss that.
A favorite story I tell about my buddy is the time I offered to guide him through the historic sites of the Freedom Trail through Boston. We got a late start on a mid-December Friday and then missed the train to Boston Common. Knowing that it would be pitch dark before 5:00 p.m., we made the most of the two hours of daylight we had left. As I hurried ahead, I pointed out one sight after another, trying to cover as much of the Trail as I could. That’s about the time my friend grabbed me by my shoulder and said, “Wayne, you’re goin’ to have to learn how to mosey ‘cause I can’t keep up with you.”
We got to the bridge across the River Charles as darkness closed in. Seeing the USS Constitution had been our goal, but, as we started across the bridge, a blast of icy cold wind tore through our woefully inadequate clothing, chilling us to the bone. My friend asked, “Are those the masts of the ship?” I affirmed they were, and he said, “You know, I’ve seen the USS Constitution,” and we turned home.
I could tell a lot more stories about our adventures, but I’ll hold those tales close to my heart and cherish the good times we shared. In the meantime, I suspect that heaven’s newest resident is teaching some over-achieving Angels how to slow down, pause from their daily activities, and mosey…