Staying In Touch

Larry D. Schultz

My usual routine on a Sunday morning is to go for bicycle ride. Today I wanted to do something different so I stopped at the cemetery where my grandparents are buried. I rode only a mile to where their headstone is and cleaned it up a little and reflected. I have only one memory from each of my grandparents that stands out. I remember my grandfather walking me to the corner store one morning for bread. He let me carry the money we were going to spend, and I even got to hand it to the clerk.
My grandmother would often be found on the couch with her eyes closed as if she were sleeping. I asked one day why she always had her eyes closed, her response was that she was resting them. Nothing profound about either memory, but I am glad I have them.

As I continued around the cemetery I noticed small groups of people scattered throughout staring at the grave markers at their feet. I would imagine they too were reflecting.

One man bid me good morning as I rode by, so I stopped to wish him a good morning as well. He replied, ‘yes it is a wonderful morning’. With that enthusiastic answer I felt an invitation to talk.

“Sir, I noticed you on the hill up the road, now you are down here. Can I ask you what you are doing?”

“Sure.” He replied, as if he had something to tell me. “I come here every Sunday to visit my wife up on the hill, then I come down here to visit my life-long buddy. We were in three wars together you know.”
We talked for about 30 minutes, then I asked him. “John, (we exchanged names) what advice would you have to give people as we all grow old?”

“Well, Larry, we don’t always have control over our health, or even our wealth. But we have control of keeping in touch with our friends. So, I say stay in touch. Whether you’re sick or poor, healthy or wealthy, you can always stay in touch.”

My eyes began to swell with tears as I looked at this old man and knew he was right. We talked a little longer then wished each other a good day, we shook hands and left.

My early morning bicycle ride made an impression on me today. I hope you got something out of this as well.

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