It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood! Autumn leaves are descending rapidly to the ground…and a crisp chill is in the air. The last few days have brought thoughts of our rapidly approaching Thanksgiving… and Christmas…not far behind. Our 2020 pandemic has morphed time somewhat and what was New Year’s Day of 2020 has turned into the Holiday Season and the closing of a most difficult beginning of our decade. This morning my good friend Jeff messaged me and asked if I could pick he and his lovely wife, Tish, up at Carbondale Memorial Hospital…as he was being released. I responded that I would be happy to do so and I would await his message. Jeff went on to say that one of the primary reasons that the hospital needed to release him was due to their need for his bed for a Covid-19 patient.
When I saw Jeff…a tear came to my eye…as I so appreciated being reunited with my old friend of nearly 50 years! I had not physically seen him in well over 40 years! It was as if there was no time separating us! There was no awkward renewal of friendship as we have a camaraderie that is beyond time. Jeff and I and many members of his family attended the same little church in Elkville, Illinois…many years ago. We ruminated and reminisced and he told me that his brother Doug sent me greetings. I was so pleased as Doug is another life long friend! As I listened to Jeff speaking I was transported back to our youth and it was as if no years had passed. Jeff is a Marine and I respect his service to our country very much!
Memorial Hospital seemed very busy. Recently in church board discussions we noted the rapidly increasing amount of virus cases in our region. The spread of the virus is getting worse exponentially! It is projected that family gatherings during the upcoming holiday season will be one of the primary coronavirus spreaders. My friend Rick cautioned our group, the other evening, that our pandemic is gong to be a long haul! Our Governor, in bis daily Covid-19 briefing just told us that, ‘We are running out of options and we are running out of time!’ As I waited on my friend this morning…I saw the precious healthcare workers coming and going. These are human beings just like you and I…and they are placing their lives on the line…for us!
Jeff commiserated on our former pastor, Jack, who was a Marine and fought in WWII…including on Guadalcanal, an Island in the Solomon Islands. Pastor Jack told us of his adventures and challenges in WWII…both private and at times in his sermons. His mesmerizing account of what he had seen and heard and felt…I will never forget!