My Daddy’s best friend died yesterday. He was a good man…a family man…truly one of the Greatest Generation. He believed in the goodness of people, that a man’s word stood for something, and that family was all-important. His quiet demeanor covered a delightful sense of humor, and he was the first to laugh at himself over a silly event.
At Mom’s memorial service, he sat at the back of the church next to Daddy, not willing to let his long-time friend sit alone (the rest of the family was in the middle of things). Although his own health was not good, it was his wife he was concerned about when he and Daddy talked last weekend.
I didn’t meet him until junior high, but they had been colleagues and friends for many years before that. When they retired, they went out together. The rest of the guys died along the way…victims of stressful jobs…they were the two who survived 30 years past retirement.
I am sad for his widow, daughters, son, and grandchildren. Life will be very different without him. But I am sad for Daddy, too, without his confidante — the one who was witness to so many of his work experiences, shared so many everyday moments — his friend for over half a century.
Andy, thank you for being such a good friend to my Daddy. You will be missed.