Friday, June 25, 2010

Remembering an old friend

Good fishing pals don't come around regularly. You know if you've found one because you both share a lot of the same ideas, likes and dislikes.
Bill Baker has been my fishing buddy for more years than I care to admit. His fishing days are behind him now. He lies at home in the living room in a hospital bed. A Hospice nurse checks with his doctor about prescriptions he'll need refilled.
"You better come and see him. He's really bad," his friend and caretaker Lois Morgan said when she called yesterday.
Physically, he looks about the same. But 88 years is a long time. The effects of serving in the Navy during WWII have taken their toll just like time itself has.
Now, when I visit, he barely recognizes me. A stroke has left him with a speech impediment. Old age and no doubt the pain he's in from cancer makes him more cranky than usual.
He seems not to realize that those around him are trying to do for him. They want him to be comfortable and not suffer. They will do anything for him.
If he only new.
Driving to see him this afternoon, I wondered what I would say, how would I react. Like other things in life that are really important, those things somehow work out. The right words come, the feelings are dealt with, and sometimes we feel better for making the effort.
While Lois and his daughter from Texas, Carolyn had some dinner, Bill and I talked. We even shared a couple of funny jabs at each other.
As I was leaving I told him to take it easy and I would be seeing him. "No you won't," he said, looking me right in the eye.
Maybe he knows something I don't. I'll say a prayer for him tonight.


  1. Rebecca Jones6/25/10, 9:03 PM

    A well-written and heartfelt message. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ron Gibson. Son of Connie Baker, grandson of Bill Baker7/7/10, 10:16 PM

    Thank you Roger for your words about my grandfather.