Growing older may have its benefits (supposedly, you gain wisdom… I’m still waiting) but there are a lot of negative aspects of aging that go way beyond the normal aches and pains.
Specifically, you start losing friends and loved ones. And in the past few years, I’ve lost some very close ones.
When friends you’ve had more than thirty years pass away, it takes a while to sink in. You think they’re still around, and then it hits you that they’re gone. Little things remind you of a certain loved one (don’t laugh, but whenever I see artichokes in the grocery store, I think of my mom, who absolutely loved them.) If I’ve watched a great Mets game I still reach for the phone to call my old friend Harvey, the most rabid Mets fan ever… and then feel sad knowing he’s no longer there for a chat. I see a sci-fi movie I know Dan would love… and wish he was sitting next to me in the theater.
When loved ones leave us unexpectedly, you tend to kick yourself, wishing you’d had one more chance to share something with them. In Dan’s case, he took his own life… and I can’t help but think that one more phone conversation might have talked him off the ledge. Then again, I had no clue he was in pain because I hadn’t talked to him in a long time. If only…
What wouldn’t I give for one more trip to the casino with Mom. Or one more night at the racetrack with Dad. Shooting one more news story with Steve. One more board game of Risk with Mike. One more day in the kitchen with my hilarious Aunt Mary.
In Steve’s case, we often got together for lunch, and did so a few days before he passed. So I didn’t feel guilty about that one. I’d had my “one more” with him.
In Harvey’s case, I can’t help but think of him often since the Mets have a pitcher named Matt Harvey and his last name is on the back of the uniform.
So I started looking up old friends in the hopes for one more… something. Sadly, several of them were gone. But the opportunities were there for one more with those who were still around.
Is there someone you would desperately miss if they were suddenly gone? Of course. So pick up the phone, send an old fashioned letter, do a video chat, get in the car and go for a visit. Reach out.
If you need a New Year’s resolution, consider taking advantage of the “one mores” you still have. Because once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.