Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lunch with Friends

This came to me today from a friend that I value very much.  After you read this, I think you'll understand ...

"One day I had lunch with some friends. Bob, a short, balding golfer-type about 69 years old, came along with them.  All in all, it was a pleasant bunch.

When the menus were presented, we ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups, all except for Bob who said, "Ice Cream, please -- two scoops, both of them chocolate."

At first, I wasn't sure my ears heard him right, and the others were aghast, as well. "Oh, and along with some heated apple pie." Bob added, completely unabashed.

We tried to act quite nonchalant, as if people did this all the time. But when our orders were brought out, I found that I didn't enjoy mine.  I couldn't take my eyes off Bob as his pie a-la-mode went down. I noticed that the other guys couldn't believe it either. They ate their lunches silently and grinned suspiciously.

The next time I went out to eat, I called and invited Bob. I lunched on white meat tuna and whole grain bread. He ordered a parfait. when I smiled, he asked if he amused me. I answered, "Yes, you do, but also you confuse me. How come you order rich desserts for lunch, while I feel I must be sensible?"

Bob laughed and explained, "I'm tasting all that is possible.  I try to eat the foods I need, and I do the things that I should do so I'll be healthy, but listen, life's so short, my friend! I hate missing out on something good. This year I realized how old I was."  He smiled, thoughtfully.  "I haven't ever been this old before.

Before I die, I've decided to try those things I had always ignored. I haven't smelled all the flowers yet; there are trout streams I haven't fished; there are more hot fudge sundaes to wolf down and kites to be flown over my head in the wind. There are too many golf courses I haven't played, and I've not laughed at all the jokes yet. Oh, and I've missed a lot of sporting events ... and potato chips ... and cokes.

I want to wade barefoot again in puddles and feel the ocean spray on my face. I want to sit in a country church one more time and thank God for everything. I want peanut butter spread every day on my morning toast; I want un-timed long distance calls to all the folks I love the most.

I haven't cried at all the movies yet, or walked in the morning rain. I need to feel wind on my face, and I want to be in love again. So, my friend, if I choose to have the dessert, instead of having dinner, then if I die before night fall, I'll be able to say I died a winner, because I missed out on nothing. I filled my heart's desire. I had that final chocolate mousse before my life expired.  I would die a happy man."

With that, I called the waitress over. "S'cuse me, Ma'am. I've changed my mind. I want what he's having -- only add even more whipped cream!"

This is my gift to you -- let's make this our annual Friends Day. The rest of the year, we'll live well, love much and laugh often -- in other words, we'll be happy.  And we have to be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige. It's all about relationships with the people we like and love and respect.

Money might talk, but chocolate ice cream sings ...

Thank you, Craig Latham! Many hugs, my friend.

"A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write." ~CJ Heck

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