« We Hold These Truths | Main | The Perks of Nearing Eighty »

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Be Someone's Best Friend

By Dani Ferguson Phillips of The Cataract Club

I recently attended the memorial service of the son of a woman in my church. He had grown up in our church but had lived his entire adult life in Tulsa.

Since the service was not being held in his current hometown, I was expecting a small attendance. But the sanctuary was completely full with standing room only remaining. There were probably a hundred or more men wearing golf shirts in attendance. It was an unusual assembly of people.

The deceased had succumbed to the ravages of a brain tumor following a brief but devastating illness. He was married but had no children. He had two dogs, loved to play golf and was a plumbing salesman by profession. I couldn’t help but wonder what he had done in his life to merit such an assembly of mourners.

Then one by one his friends stepped to the alter to speak of this man. One referred to him as a remarkable round mound of sound who, in the Will Rogers tradition, never met a man who didn’t like him. It was amazing to hear how many of these men counted him as “my best friend.”

One said he was perennially possessed of a remarkably sunny disposition, a quick and incisive wit and a brightly smiling visage. You didn’t have to look for a good time when in his company because he was his own good time.

His generosity to those less fortunate was the stuff of legend. His exploits through the years at his home away from home, on the golf course or in the clubhouse pouring over cards with “the gang” were always eagerly anticipated.

Many of those golfers’ kids and grandkids referred to him as “Uncle” and would be shocked to learn that legally he wasn’t. That same love came from every waiter, attendant, staffer and bag room guy at his club. Again, he was always referred to by all as, “my best friend.”

It was said that he dealt with his last great challenge as eloquently yet humbly as was his endearing nature. To the very the end, he was witty and welcoming, never burdening others.

As in everything he did, he demonstrated his remarkable sense of humor and his love for his family, friends and dogs, and made everyone better for having known him. When the creator fashioned him, he broke the mold.

There will be no one like him passing this way again. Truly, the good die young regardless of how old they are. The world will never be the same minus his sun-light like smile and piercing wit.

Have you ever wondered what might be said about your life when that time comes? I have. We should all strive to be considered someone’s best friend.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


A good reminder. Thank you. Well-written post.

Yes, I have wondered. And thanks for the push in the right direction.

Funny how I was directed here to read your story. I actually thought you were writing about my husband. He passed away 2 years ago and his friends all came forward the same way. The words, "they broke the mold" was used by many, he had a quick smile and never a bad word about anyone. They would tease him and say if a tree limb would move he would start a conversation with it. I would tease him and tell him to take off those rose colored glasses but he said he liked them. I remember all those words and they mean so much to me. I'm glad to know that there was more than one person like him in the world. I too wish there were more.

Yes, I too have wondered, but never worried. Of course I never knew the young man, but Dani, I sure like him.

Thanks for the introduction.

Perhaps if we did not have people of the opposite personality, we would not know the true treasures such as this young man.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment