"This has really been a good week for me. Really a good week."
This was recently said by a good friend as he spoke to me and a group of others one morning. He further explained by saying that a number of good things had taken place for him that past week and his work.
He followed those two statements by also saying, "And in some ways it has been a difficult week. Twenty years ago today my father was killed in car accident." His father, a man he thought so much of, was killed returning from a week-end fishing trip. His father had been a passenger in a car riding with a good friend when it went off the road, hitting a tree and his father was killed instantly. No, not a good week. Our friend flew from his home to where his parents lived in west Texas to be with his family and prepare for his dad's funeral.
On the day of his father's funeral the funeral director called our friend aside and ask to speak with him. Calling him privately to a room the director handed my friend a blood soaked piece of paper from a writing pad. The director paused a moment and then said "This is something we took from your dad's person when he was brought to us for preparation." Scribbled at the top of this piece of paper were these words:
Unfortunately there was no next week for my friend's father.
Don't just call when you need something
Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone
And I never see my old friend's face,
For life is swift and a terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As the days when I rang his bell,
And he rang mine but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men,
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.
"Tomorrow" I say, "I will call on Jim
Just to show that I'm thinking of him."
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows
Around the corner-yet miles away,
Here's a telegram sir, Jim died today."
And that's what we get and deserve in the end,
Around the corner, a vanished friend.
"Things to do this week"
Our friend's story makes us realize.... Time...tomorrow is guaranteed to no one.
April 30, 2017