Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Only trouble with Having Old Friends is that Old Part

I saw this ad come across the TV the other night. The sponsor was making a point of their longevity in the practice of their services. They put up a big old icon on the screen. It said, "Founded 1970". "Founded 1970," which is 43 years ago. I guess that's a long time now. This is a problem in my life these days, time slips away so quick every decade seems closer than it is.

If "Founded 1970" is a proof of longevity, what is a friendship founded in 1950? That's a total of 63 years if I still remember how to count. So is it longevity or antiquity?

And it isn't just a friendship, it's two. There are actually a couple others. I've been friends with a lady named Iva forever, I mean we go back to the state of consciousness, let's say 70 years.

But she's a girl. I'm talking about male bonding here, three guys who met in third grade and got kind of joined at the hip. There we are on the left back in 1957, when we all had a lot of thick, dark hair. Ain't we a handsome bunch?

We were so alike in many ways. That's what cements you to other people over so many decades. We were very alike and yet very different in other ways.  I was pretty geeky, I guess, this hick from a swamp, shy and ignorant of so much that the other kids knew. Maybe we were all geeky in a way. We got a lot of guff from others in that small town.

Life moved us apart physically, and for some periods in mind and spirit as well. Oddly many events in our lives paralleled even when we didn't know it.  We seemed to move into the same areas or work for banks here and there. And in the end we all drifted back together, even if mostly over the Internet. There we are on the right when we had a little reunion in 2011. We were percolating rather well at the time.

Stuart is down in Florida, but we managed to write several plays together on the Web. Ronald is living
in the slower-lower southern part of this state of Delaware, while I live up at the top. To me we still are much alike. Our differences might seem big to some people. I'm a vocal Christian and 52 years married to the same woman. Stuart's Jewish and he's married, too. Ronald is pretty much non-religious in a definable way. He has his spiritual moments. He isn't married because he can't be. He's Gay. He has a partner of 48 years. I'm pretty Conservative; Ronald's pretty Liberal. I'm not sure about Stuart, maybe he falls somewhere between us.

But never mind the differences. We like each other as people and friends. You don't always have to agree to like someone. You have to look at a person's heart, not the labels they or others have hung about their necks. I've actually known some people in life who seem to agree on everything, but can't stand each life's a mystery sometimes.

These are old friends, my oldest friends, and that OLD is getting old. Age is catching up to our bodies, if not our minds. Ron got news the past year that he has prostate cancer. Bummer, he is going for a nuclear seeding in May.

We just heard from Stuart that his knees are gone, bone on bone. He's into leg braces and pain and
most likely knee replacements down the road he limps along.

I thought I was the sturdy one, boppin' along without a care. Well, I knew that wasn't completely true. I mean I had a terrible time 15 years ago and lost my thyroid. Then I developed gout and Psoriatic Arthritis in more recent times. Boy, is that a pain!

But last week was the kicker right in the...well fill in the blank. I had a bit of pain about my waist and felt very tired. I figured that Ms Flu had returned. It would pass, I figured because it always did. But last Sunday after church I was really weary and woozy and didn't have the energy to walk across the living room.

Monday morning when I awoke I had to dash to the bathroom and I think it was trying for the Guinness World Record. I've occasionally had someone tell me I was full of it. Monday morning seemed to be an attempt to prove them right. I certainly wasn't full of much of anything after that.

But I figured maybe this gets the poison out and Ms Flu will fly 'way, except I was seeing something black that said it may not be Ms Flu. It's more like Captain Blood.

Well, for once I called my Doctor and saw her last Thursday. She is of the opinion I got me a bleeding ulcer. She sent me off to the Lab for blood work. The paper said STAT at the top. She said she'd have the results by 3:00 and if my hemoglobin was too low she was going to put me right into the hospital. Then she got me an emergency colonoscopy appointment for next Thursday. Oh, joy, oh joy!

But my Lab results showed my hemoglobin was down, but not dangerously low so I escaped hospitalization. I am also going to escape all the foods I don't want to escape. No spicy food, no tomatoes, no fries, no alcohol, no coffee, no tea, no soda and no chocolate. I can have tofu. Uuh!

Anyway, I went out this afternoon and bought almost all my treats for the party next Wednesday evening. I got a packet of Dulcolax Tablets, an 8.3 oz bottle of Miralax and a 10 oz. bottle of magnesium citrate, yum! I didn't get the Crystal Light to mix in the 64 ounce bottle of water with the Miralax yet.  I will have to drink eight ounces of this cocktail until the whole jugs gone, the instructions say.

It's a good thing I don't live in New York. I wouldn't be able to prep for the procedure. Mayor Bloomberg doesn't allow these super-sized drinks.


Ron said...

Excellent post Lar. You are a writer par excellence. Our friendship has endured. We are so fortunate. My thoughts are with you as you meet your latest challenge.

Anonymous said...


I love reading your posts. I'll be praying for you.

Sean R.