Good Golfers Gone

It seems i’m always making excuses to you, and myself as well, about why i’m not posting more. i have five posts in the hopper, one of which is a summary of the others. Book writing, responding to comments on my website, home projects, paying attention to my wife, connecting and reconnecting with friends and family. And of course, there is a lot of golf in there.

For this, i can wait no longer.

The news came a couple of days ago. i’m still dealing with it. It hit me harder than some others. Frank Novick passed away.

It was unexpected, staph infection and sepsis. He suffered for about three weeks. From my perception, Frank was one of the healthier of our group of golfers, primarily old telephone guys. He was one of the nicest guys in the group. He would distribute grapefruits from his tree to the other golfers. Just a caring, nice guy.

Just over a month ago, he noticed the face of my putter was scraped. He gave me one he had just like mine. The last time i saw him, i showed him how i had switched shafts and was putting better. He told me to keep it until he asked for it back, and then he said it was mine. i offered to pay for it and he said if i wanted i should get the trade-in price from Golf Mart and that would be fine.

i still have the twenty bucks in my wallet (the store told me they would give me $14.00). i have committed to using that putter for the rest of my golf playing in honor of Frank.

Before Frank became ill, that golf group lost another. James Clark was fun. He was the treasurer and one of the folks that made San Diego Telco Golf work. James had battled kidney problems for a number of years. He certainly wasn’t a great golfer but he loved to talk about his game, and he was a loyal part of the group. And boy, did he enjoy a good laugh, even if the joke was on himself.

i thought he was doing okay with his illness until that bad news came.

Damn.

There are other friends and family who are gone and many who have serious illnesses and physical ailments. They are in my age group, although most are younger than me. It happens. I am old. My two golfing groups have been around for longer than thirty years and we weren’t spring chickens when i joined them.

As i mulled my sadness at my loss of these golf friends and others, i remembered a poem (sic) i wrote after observing my parents in their mid-90’s one evening:

Waiting Grace

the old folks sit in the too warm room,
television images blink randomly,
the mute button silences the room
although they do not know as the hearing aids
lie on their respective tables with other
paraphernalia required for the elderly;
they sit knowing the time will come soon:
waiting grace.
Noble,
Sad,
All is right with the world.
They and the remaining few of their generation
know how to demonstrate
waiting grace.
No threat, no fret, no fear
shows in their continence:
they do what they can and
what they can decreases perceptively daily,
faculties fade and with the fading,
the joys of their industry escaping slowly:
waiting grace.
They have endured the test of time when
times were harder and
simpler and
they hold to those codes of right and
simplicity and
goodness to the neighbor, friend and
to service:
waiting grace.

i just hope i have the strength, the hope, the patience, and the grace of my mother and father in these coming years.

 

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