Remembering friends who have gone to better place

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, December 21, 2011

To the Editor:
As each year comes to a close, I find myself recalling the memory of friends who have gone to a better place.  I somehow believe that it is an exercise that many people utilize.
Since retiring to this area I’ve had the privilege of meeting new friends both young and old.  Most of these friends are acquired through my work with animals and through church or in many cases, both.
One group is especially dear to me and that is our early morning breakfast group.  Each day we meet at T.J.’s Café and discuss and banter just about every subject that there is.
I joined the group nearly five years ago and our conversations are often both stimulating and humorous. Most are retirees and as you’d expect, are getting on in years. Because of that fact every now and then we lose one and they go on to that better place.
For me it is a sad time as I find myself wishing I could have known them longer.  Over my years there we have lost Roy, Clarence, Bo, Eugene, and most recently, Glen Morgan. Each remains in our conversations often as we reminisce with fondness.
I’ve made it my business to visit them all when they were ill and to be there for the final goodbye.
At McFarland’s Funeral Home, as I passed through the line paying my last respects to Glen, I was pulled aside and hugged.
“Glen thought the world of you, Lennie.”
I tearfully said, “Thank you,” and returned the feeling.
As I reflect that life is good after all, for what more can one hope for than to touch the heart and soul of a friend and they you.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all and remember, it may be a good time to hug a friend.
– Leonard Rizzo, Tryon