Will You Be My Friend …

images-5One of the best things about life, is friendship.  Good friends are the cornerstone of all relationships.  I still remember and often communicate by telephone, email, my website, with friends that I have had since childhood. 

The younger set have a word for it … BFF … Best Friends Forever. Continue reading

Finding A Corner To Hide In

A friend of mine has a saying he uses, “At the end of the day.”  Guess that is where I am tonight, at the end of my day and I am wondering what it is that I am doing wrong, which base I did not cover and pondering what all the other poor folks are doing tonight.

I did not read the paper today, nor did I find myself turning on the news.  Nothing in my email box, all my messages were shunted off and ignored.  So I guess it is time to face the music.  I am not making any more efforts to email people who seem to never find time to reply.   Not gonna pick up the telephone and reach out, to check and insure that the person on the other end of the line, is still in fact, alive.

Mostly, I am just gonna sit here and think about days like this.

Why is it that there are times in life, when a man’s soul cries out for some kind of recognition, that he indeed has worth.  What is it in our makeup from birth until the day we die, that we need approval of others, and we seek it with complete abandon.  What is it about the human spirit that requires attention in the form of companionship in order to survive?

And in the end … We are simply ignored.

Today I sit and I ponder this question, and as usual, I have no easy quick answer.  I don’t understand why it is that despite every good deed, every honest effort, each conscious move to improve my lot in life, I always seem to fall just a tad bit short of the mark.  Most generally, despite my honest and generous efforts, I do not succeed.  Much to my chagrin, at the end of the day, I find myself, as on most days, alone.

Not fully understanding why people are the way they are, I stumble upon them each day and try to make my mark, to fit in, to be a good member of the tribe.  I reach out to them in kindness, in conversation, to try and do my best to find some common ground, a link for which we might meet and agree.  But it never seems to happen.

Week after week, I just cannot seem to find the elbow room at the table.

Another thing that confuses me to no end, is why after each and every missed adventure, do I continue to try and do my best.  When I know most certainly that any and all efforts will be in vain.  Almost like the small lad on the end of the diving board, yelling out to his inattentive father, “Watch me.  Watch me!” searching in vain for a small ray of approval.  Ironically we start early in life seeking out some kind of validation, however small it might be.

No matter how I try, I can never seem to measure up.  What is it deep in the wellspring of my being, that keeps bringing me back to the source of my apparent discontent.  Over and over, I make the long trip down the path, only to find nothing to quench my thirst.  If baffles me, why I even bother?

You can walk on the water, you can walk on the moon, you can walk thru Memphis wearing blue suede shoes, when the walking is over and you find yourself at the end of the road.  It isn’t gonna matter what it is that you done, or who it is that you know.  The mailbox is empty, the telephone does not ring, and the doorbell is silent.  In a day of mass communication of every form imaginable, I find myself alone and wondering.

And I suppose I die just a little bit deep inside.


Goodbye My Friend John

In memory of my lost  friend John Thomas Wright, this post will run until 06-15-2011.  I will then resume regular posting on that date.

There is only one thing in this big old world that never takes a holiday. 

And that is death.

One of the things about dealing with loss, is the fact, that you always feel there was something left un-said, one final goodbye, I wish I had the chance to …… Unfortunately, a lot of the time, it doesn’t turn out that way.  In this particular case it was just that way. 

My good, close personal friend has died, a massive heart attack without warning.  I feel cheated, I feel robbed, and I feel sad.  Please don’t confuse this with Brother John, in PA, my computer friend who shares the page with me often. 

This John, is John Wright, a Locomotive engineer on the same railroad that I retired from.  I used to call him “Little Brother.” Just months away from retirement, we often joked and talked about it, a milepost he sadly will never see.. A time we sadly will not share together.  This is the nature of things this day.

Today I don’t get to write the things I like to write about, the weird and whacky things that make me smile, the offbeat and the colorful, today I have to write about the passing of my friend, John.  Today is not a day that makes me smile, nor should it, because this is never a happy experience for anyone.

John was standing on the rear platform of a BNSF Locomotive the other day in Winslow, Arizona fixing to make a trip back across the mountains at Flagstaff to Needles, California, when he had a massive heart attack and he died.  Just another trip across the mountains.  Something that he had done thousands of times in his long career, but this day, it was not to be so. One of the things that I hate about it more than anything is that “he died away from home” such is the life of a railroad man. 

I didn’t care for that at all.

So I have kind of been dealing with that, and that is why I am sort of backed up on the comments section of all this.  It will be a day or two before I am back into the routine, I am sure you will understand.

Being at a point in life where I am attending far too many funerals and no longer going to weddings, it doesn’t seem to get any easier.  Last year I was dealing with this very same issue, and I suppose next year, it will be the same.  Knowing that you have the strength, faith in God and the convictions to face it head on, doesn’t make it any better, it just makes you capable of understanding it in the end.  I am really going to miss this guy, and there is already a void in my life, because of his sudden untimely passing.

There is an old story about a Preacher and a Railroader who both died on the same day.  And when they arrived at the Heaven’s Gate, they were escorted in and an Angel checked their names in the book of life and they were assigned their respective rooms in heaven.

The next morning, they both happened to meet in the cafeteria and the preacher looked at the railroader and he said, “What is your room like?”  And the old railroader said, “I got a pretty nice room, I have to admit.  I got this big screen television; central heat and air, even got one of them Jacuzzis deals in the bathroom.  Pretty nice set up.”

The preacher was livid, he said, “Man, something is wrong here, really wrong.  I got this little dinky bed, just barely holds one person, a sink, 10” black n white television.  Someone needs to do something about this!”

So they both went back up to the front desk and approached the Angel in charge.  The preacher said to the Angel, “Hey?  Both of us checked in yesterday at the same time, I am a preacher and he is a railroader.  I got this dinky little room, barely a television, air conditioner in the wall.  He has a 62” big screen High-Def-Television, central heat and air, Jacuzzi in the bathroom the whole nine yards!  What gives?”

The Angel smiled and said …… “We get preachers every day in heaven, no big deal.  But he is the FIRST RAILROADER we ever got.”

It is my sincere, profound hope, that my friend John is in Heaven today and that he has a really swell room. 

So Little Brother, reach down, grab you a handful of throttle, slap her in run eight and let ‘er rip, all the blocks are green from here on out …

I miss him desperately already …. John Thomas Wright II …. My JT.



There will only be one post today, this one.

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