Friday, December 9, 2016

A Moment of Silence

obama, obama jokes, political, humor, cartoon, conservative, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, john glenn, ron

No jokes or politics today. I just found out that my friend and neighbor of 25 years passed away a few hours ago, quite suddenly, from complications of fast-moving Alzheimer's disease.

He was a good guy (and like the rest of us, not a perfect guy) who worked hard his entire life, had a wife and family, achieved a degree of success which transcended his upbringing and education, and who poured me a nicely-spiked glass of eggnog every year at Christmas time while our wives wrinkled their noses and said "how can you guys drink that stuff?!"

He took pleasure in keeping his home and lawn immaculate, loved to engage in long conversations when we met at the mailbox, and he proudly wore his patriotism on his sleeve.

I can't help thinking of the juxtaposition of my friend dying the same day as John Glenn. One was an astronaut who soared the heavens, and the other was an American of the kind who defines the bedrock of our nation.

I'll miss them both.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

todays Picture (12-8-16) in memory of John Glen et.al. was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes thinking of my father.

who did it and where can I cat a frameable copy???

please, please , please email @ brdg@cox.net with the info

a million thanks... love your website

Merry Christmas and a happy new presidency! (MY line to annoy libs this month)

Anonymous said...

Not much more a man could have said of him. Great post.

James Daily said...

Our prayers and heartfelt sorry goes out to you and yours. Losing a longtime friend sometimes hurts more than losing a relative. What more can be said of a friend that had a life well lived. We are very sorry for your loss.

REM1875 said...

Doc I am truly sorry for your loss, and believe he would be honored by the praise you have given him because there is no greater honor than to live each day the best you can and share your life with those around you.
May God bless , aid and heal those who loved you friend.

Allow me to share what I would be proud of for my epitaph-- from President Harry S Truman

"I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says: 'Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest.' I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have - When he gives everything that is in him to do the job he has before him. That is all you can ask of him and that is what I have tried to do."
Harry S Truman

Weirddave said...

Godspeed to your friend and neighbor. I hope than when I go somebody will have to say about me what you've said about him

Buck said...

Well said Sir. An outstanding tribute to your friend. Semper Fidelis!

Gang of One said...

My condolences for your loss and Godspeed, to both him and John Glenn.

pgm1972 said...

My condolences. My Mom died of Alzheimer's this past March at 89. And my grandmother back in 1992. One aunt (my Mom's younger sister) is getting bad. Oddly, the oldest sister, at 93, still has all her faculties about her and even still drives.

Twenty years ago, you hardly heard about it. Now it's as common as cancer. Oy!

Linda McWilliams said...

I'm so sorry. You were fortunate to have a good neighbor and friend for that long, and he was fortunate too.

Rod said...

Memorable image; nice tribute. Very nice.

Tots said...

My deepest sympathies, Stilton.

mark said...

Rest In Peace. ( John 3:16)

Sandy Link said...

My husband and I are coming to the age where our friends will begin to leave us, also. It is a stark reality of the aging process, one which I do not cherish. Seems like when we come to the "golden years" they should be just that, not the years of suffering from the effects of old age, watching our friends and neighbors pass on and wondering how many more years we have left on this earth. God bless you and your family, friends and neighbors, and may this time pass gently for you.

Alfonso Bedoya said...

Sorry about your loss. It reminded me to contact friends who, although a bit younger than I, are getting to "that" age where they (we) are becoming more and more vulnerable.
My brother-in-law had a severe and sudden stroke a few months ago and now faces months and months of rehab. He will probably never regain the life he once knew, and it made me stop in my tracks and think about trying to live my remaining years to the fullest. I'm giving it my best shot.

mjloehrer said...

Sincere condolences. Losing a friend is so very sad

Pete (Detroit) said...

Well said Stilt, and condolences.

John the Econ said...

The only part of death that truly scares me; slowly losing ones mind while waiting for the body to quit.

Condolences.

GWashington said...

We'll raise a drink for them both. My sympathies Stilton.

Judi King said...

Sorry for your loss. I just lost a friend also. A good, kind and loving person.

SC said...

Stilt, Sorry for your loss, hang in there.

TheOldMan said...

@pmg1972
Twenty years ago, something else got you first. Now we physically last longer so there is more time for the mind to quit.

tude dog said...

Sorry for your loss.

A wonderful brother-in-law went the same horrible way.

Lee The Voice said...

Dr. Jarlton: I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a close friend is almost like losing a member of your family. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear of your loss. Sadly, we've reached a point in our lives where these things will happen. Cherish the memories of his friendship. I've always maintained that friends are like jeans....the old ones are the best.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss. When I saw the picture I thought at first it was a drawing of Sisyphus. It wasn't but it would still make a good picture of that tragic mythological person and of us as well.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- Thanks so much for all the kind thoughts and wishes. We all know this pain and, sadly, have to face it more frequently as we age. Under the circumstances, my friend's death was a release from a fate worse than death. I have an absolute horror of Alzheimer's, the most dehumanizing of illnesses, and all that goes with it.

I'm not in heavy mourning, but like the tree-figure in today's illustration, I'm feeling the existential weight of Life's harsh realities. And reminded again that we're not promised any tomorrows, so it makes sense to use our todays the best we can (which includes enjoying ourselves while trying to give joy to others).

Today's picture was actually a bit of black & white clip art which originated as an illustration in an old book (the service I subscribe to doesn't give much background information). I added the colors and textures to match my mood, although luck played a bigger role than skill in ending up with something that seems meaningful. For me, the image suggests our individual struggles and the inevitable cycles of nature, but also balance, beauty, and ultimately peace.

Speaking of trees, but on a far less melancholy note, Mrs J is just completing her exquisitely tasteful hanging of ornaments on our Christmas tree. Those ornaments are our family history, representing people, times, and places that have meant a lot to us. Entirely mismatched, yet coming together to form a unified and joyful whole every year. Seriously - it's a thing of beauty.

Again, thanks for all the good thoughts. Be well and happy, enjoy your weekend, and listen to some "Manhole Steamrising" Christmas music. That's what we'll be doing!

TrickyRicky said...

My Dad used to tell me that "getting old ain't for pussies". As my friends and neighbors keel over with sudden heart attacks or fight long painful fights with cancer, as my own body continues to degenerate, I understand what he meant.

Stilton, so sorry for your loss, and for the losses our commenters have suffered. Keep the faith, cherish the memories, and enjoy every moment.

QuesoGrande said...

A beautiful encomium to a great person from a great man. My condolences your loss.

Noor al Haqiqa said...

Beautiful eulogy ....

Life goes on.

We are a little richer for having these every day folks in our lives.

My condolences.

John de Graaf said...

America lost two good men.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@TrickyRicky- At 64, I've heard too many stories along the lines of "he just went in for a check up and two weeks later he was gone" or "He was jogging and they found him two blocks from home." I've got nothing like that going on (knock on my wooden head), though am still having some aches and pains from a teeny-tiny ladder fall back in April. I even landed on my feet - just badly. Life gets to be less about healing, and more about learning to live with things that don't go away. Although happily, that doesn't appear to be Hillary Clinton anymore. (grin)

@QuesoGrande- I'll gently decline the term "greatness" except in the sense that the greatness of America comes from every unsung individual who is hardworking and places a value on friendship and decency. My friend met that description handily.

@Noor al Haqiqa- Thanks for the nice thoughts.

@John de Graaf- Let's hope that there are more good men (and women) coming to adulthood to keep the scales in balance.

@Readers- A friend and HnC reader did some sleuthing online and found out that the original black and white illustration in today's blog was by a writer and political cartoonist named Art Young. This was one of the images from his 1927 book "Trees at Night," which featured trees in anthropomorphic poses in silhouette. Many are whimsical, and some are haunting.

Ted Henkle said...

Please accept my condolences for the loss of your neighbor.
Keep up the good work on this blog!

Anonymous said...

RIP to your friend an neighbor. I love the website, but also appreciate the break from the humor to recognize one man's humanity.