This week I turned 65. It feels like yesterday when I was a lad and saw people who were “old,” meaning over 50. Sixty-five was ancient.
Well, now that I’m here, it’s not ancient, I just feel ancient; creaky knees, a bad back, and skin checks every six months. But, I still have the mind-set of an 18-year-old. Rock on, baby.
Speaking of rocking on, I’d like to reference a couple of songs to assist me in my writing of this column.
Since turning 65, I have thought much about the past. I could quote Old Blue Eyes and belt out, “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.” I wish.
But that’s not the crux of my story. On Facebook, I have, comparatively, few friends when I see the hundreds and hundreds other folks have. But truth be told, I could have more, but those would be people with whom I have nothing in common and wouldn’t communicate with anyway. Friends are people with whom I share something.
I wish to quote John Lennon from The Beatles’ “In My Life.”
“… I know I’ll never lose affection for people and things that went before. I know I’ll often stop and think about them.
“With lovers and friends I still can recall. Some are dead and some are living. In my life I’ve loved them all.”
Lately, I have often stopped and thought about many people from my past. As I mentioned, I do have Facebook friends, and I am so grateful that some of them go back to my high school days, and a handful from my youth.
But there are so many other people whose paths crossed mine along my journey thus far.
When I met people and ultimately considered them friends, they became close to my heart. Maybe it’s my lack of self-confidence, but I don’t think nearly as many considered me in that vein.
There are friends from St. Anne’s School in Fall River that I know nothing about anymore. Are they alive? Are they well? Are they successful? Do they have a family? I suspect I’ll never know. There are some whom I really care about. And I also ask, do they think of me?
I have high school friends that shared some truly good times with me; trading vinyl (that’s record albums for the pre-old and -ancient group); going to basketball and football games; attending concerts; going to dances; and just plain hanging out. And I have the same questions about them. Especially, do they think of me?
The same goes for my university years and my employment experiences as well.
Unfortunately, I do know some of those with whom I was very close, have indeed passed away, and some fighting one type of battle or another. It saddens me. But there are others, particularly my Facebook friends who are assuredly alive and kicking and haven’t changed a bit. For those, I am thankful.
In Disney’s Muppet version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” (both classics) Scrooge sings “Thankful Heart,” written by super song writer, Paul Williams. Scrooge sings, “Life is like a journey. Who knows when it ends? Yes, and if you need to know the measure of a man you simply count his friends.”
I don’t know what my “measure of a man” will be. Looking back over the last half-century-plus, I truly don’t know what mark I’ve left on others’ lives.
Looking back I reminisce and wish the best for folks whom I often stop and think about. I truly hope some do the same with me.
No, I’m not ancient like little Dave used to think. I just think a lot more about the people who have been a part of my life. Of those who touched me in some way, I really have loved them all.