Thursday, January 9, 2014

Reconnecting: The Joy and the Pain

Bing and I first met in a Sunday school class in 1953.  We connected again in high school graduating together in the Class of 1960.  Then we went our separate ways.  Bing joined the Navy.  I enlisted in the Air Force.  He went to Morocco.  I went to Crete.  The years went by, each of us living out our unique journey--marriage, vocation, children and grandchildren, and the experiences, struggle, and cares as life tumbled in on us.
On February 5, 2012, fifty-two years after our graduation from high school, Bing and I were reunited.  Realizing we could not share all the happenings of those many years in a single phone call, we agreed to communicate through Email.   We wrote day after day of our experiences through the years.  Bing wrote that he had been diagnosed with cancer some months earlier and was receiving treatment.  I wrote that I would be in his area in March and perhaps we could meet.

What a joyous time we had together!  We talked and talked for hours.  After that visit we continued to connect electronically and by phone.  The radiation and chemo treatments, the frequent hospitalizations and surgeries often made that communication difficult.  Some days Bing would call, barely able to speak, but needing company.  We planned to meet again in September, but Bing was too weary to do so.  Still we continued to communicate with the means available to us.  Bing put up a mighty fight, winning some battles, but he could not win the war.  He died, just one year and 23 days after our reconnecting, on March 1, 2013.

The joy of reconnecting with a friend of the past is an experience beyond words to express.  The pain of reconnecting with Bing, my friend of the past, makes the following words of poetry poignant.

Here are the struggles and striving;
Here are the cares and the tears;
Now is the time to be smoothing
The frowns, and the furrows and fears.
What, to closed ears, are kind sayings
What, to hushed heart, is deep vow?
Naught can avail after parting
So give them the flowers now!

1 comment:

  1. You have made me feel some of the pain. I'm sure your presence in your friends life this past year was a great comfort and aid to him.