When we go to the nursing home to visit our friend who is convalescing from his terrible accident there, we always pass by a room when an old man sits in the dark.
My husband recognized the name right away. When he graduated from highschool 43 years ago, he began his machinist career at a small shop. An elderly man was retiring from there. It was the old man in the room.
So we stopped in, and the man remembered Tim right away. His mind is still sharp and active. He is surrounded by the birthday balloons he got for his 100th birthday.
He's a lonely soul. His wife just died in the bed next to him. "I don't know how you get over something like that," he said to us. I answered that when someone has been such a big part of your life for such a very long time, it leaves a big hole in your life when they are gone. He nodded in agreement.
He tells us that he has lost two of his sons. One died in a fiery truck crash years ago. Another died in his sleep a couple years back. He didn't see his 100th birthday as anything to celebrate, really.
We visited a bit, and when we left, he said, "Come back anytime. It gets lonely here."
I think we will.