I Lost A Friend on Friday.
I lost a friend on Friday. His name was Gil. Perhaps it was an unlikely friendship. He was 95 and I am just 62.
He was actually the “boyfriend” of my mother in law. I call her Mom although she is not my mother. She is 88.
Gil was a friend of mine nevertheless. Maybe he was a substitute for the father figure I lost when my Dad died.
We felt like we had a father-son relationship although we weren’t father and son. We were just friends.
Before he was no longer able to travel, we liked to go out to dinner or he came over for a meal, but not alone. We were a foursome, Mom and Gil, my wife and me.
We had nice conversations and we really enjoyed one another’s company.
It made me laugh when we brought them home, each of them with their own walkers. It reminded me of that scene with the dancing ladies and their walkers in Mel Brooks’ musical, The Producers.
Or maybe it reminded me of a slow train, with one following the other, very slowly.
When he could no longer travel, we brought dinner to Gil and Mom, which they both enjoyed.
I read the newspaper to him a few times in the past month since he could not see and was for the most part confined to his wheelchair in his room, mostly alone. He also didn’t hear so well, so I had to speak very loudly.
Someone said it’s a mitzvah what I’m doing. But that’s not the point. We both appreciated the time together.
I visited him twice last week just before he died. Each time he was resting peacefully in bed.
I said only a few words to him which he couldn’t hear anyway. I couldn’t say anything more without choking up. I just held his hand for a few moments.
Gil was a good friend of mine. Now he is gone and I will miss him.
David I. Karp is a full time mediator of real estate and business disputes in Southern California who doesn’t always write about mediation. His business website is at http://karpmediation.com .