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Wanna hear God laugh. Tell him your plans.

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  • Wanna hear God laugh. Tell him your plans.

    Been out of touch for a few days, but not for our original reasons.

    Ya ever have that friend from high school that just seemed to weave their way through your life? You moved away, but they always, somehow remained part of your life. He'd get a wild hair and show up on your doorstep one day, not even concerned that it was 1,100 miles away. You'd receive phone calls at all hours, early in the morning, late at night, or when you're busy, but you ALWAYS picked up, because it was your bud. Even if you couldn't talk long, you talked.

    My friend was Darrel. He was this faithful, and crazy friend that had luck that would allow him to get away with doing things that would end a normal man in the hospital, jail or other uncomfortable place. But for him, such repercussions didn't exist. The trip, and it's twists and turns was part of the adventure. He called about two weeks ago and asked if I could come up to PA and bring my motorcycles so we could go riding. I figured that the timing was right, so I agreed. The weather was supposed to be perfect for this week, so we made plans.

    I packed up and headed out of Florida at 3am, with the plan to be at Darrel's by 9 or 10 that evening. As I was plowing up the highway, Darrel called at around 10am, just to see how the trip was going and we chatted a little bit. He and his younger son, Dalton, were going to go riding dirt bikes and he'd give me a call later after they were finished. Somewhere around Richmond, I received a call, but not from Darrel. It was a friend of ours. He explained that Darrel died out on the trail, riding dirt bike. I doubted him at first, since I just spoke with Darrel a few hours earlier. Ray assured me it was true, which hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn't notice that the radio hadn't played a song for about four hours.

    Darrel had a heart issue since birth, and had open heart surgery when he was a teenager. It had been giving him some issues, but they had him on medication which seemed to help. It hadn't given him an issue for some time. Apparently, while riding, his son noted that Darrel wasn't behind him any more and when he turned around to find him, he said he was just sitting there, on the motorcycle. Then, he just fell over.

    I arrived at Darrel's house around 10 that evening with many of our friends waiting for me. We spent the rest of the evening talking and sharing, eventually getting to bed around 3am the next day. Only 26 hours after I woke up the day before. Darrel lived alone, and the plan was for me to stay at his house and we were going to go riding about every day, weather permitting. Now, I've got two motorcycles and no one to ride them with. His two sons and their families all said that I could stay at Darrel's for the week, if I wanted. Darrel would have wanted it that way.

    I spent a LOT of my high-school years at Darrel's, as it was originally his folks' place, and when they passed away, he got it from his mom. I grew up here. Lately, I've been spending more time reliving memories than making new ones. Some may be a little wigged out with staying here, but I'm grateful that I've been able to, as it's helped me get a little bit of closure on this whole thing. There are a lot of questions and the families have some tough decisions to address. I've assured them that I don't want to be any sort of hassle for them, but one of his sons actually said that he's glad I stayed. We had some good talks.

    I spoke to my oldest son about what all went on, and he suggested that I do some riding, like Darrel wanted to do. I did some of that today, but for some reason, my eyes got all watery, even with the glasses on. The original plan was for me to stay here until Saturday. A full week of riding. Now, I'm not sure when I'll head for home. Maybe sooner. But I know that when I leave this time, it'll probably be for the last time, and knowing that doesn't make the decision to leave any easier.

    Don't want to be a downer, but just wanted to let you all know why I've not been on much lately. Please keep Darrel's family in your thoughts and prayers.

  • #2
    Wow....that's touching.

    I just look around at the crowd on this Forum and most of them are great friends of mine that I've known forever. Though sometimes we've gone years without being in the same room...it's like we instantly can pick up where we left off when we get together. There's not a one of them that I or anyone in my family couldn't pick up the phone and call in the middle of the night and receive instant help without any question. I never worry about having friends to help me.

    Sounds like Darrel was that sort of friend also.

    Not sure what sort of arrangements have been made for him...but the majority of what you've written here would be a fantastic eulogy for a good friend. If you can't be there, it would be great to have it read or at least send to the family.

    I'm also very proud of the son you've raised. To have him see through the situation and come up with an insightful way for you to "spend some time with Darrel" is great. Certainly it was painful....but sounds like you needed that time alone with Darrel one more time...even if it was a short ride.

    You're right about "God's Plans". As I always say..."This Life stuff ain't no dress rehearsal". We should live life to the fullest and enjoy the time we have together....you never know when things will change and you get that call.

    Take care buddy....you and Darrel are in our prayers.

    JIM

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    • #3
      Touching story ... Thanks for sharing .. I just got News about a friend of mine , he was my oldest friend from first grade to the end of high school ..Scott and myself got into all kinds of trouble ( kid stuff ) .. Well I stopped getting into trouble ,( other than racing tickets lol ) But Scott didn't .. Ended up a Hells Angle and in and out of Prison .. He did get his life together and had 4 sons and taught big rig truck driving.. Lost track of him for about 5 years then I got a Letter from his X wife .. Scott got back into drugs and ended back in Prison .. He is out now but in a halfway house .. Scott was a guy you would just like to have around you , always joking around and always had a smile on his face when you would see him .. He would do anything for a friend .. It's just very hard for me to watch him toss his life away like he did .. He spent 4 years in the Marine corps after high school and was going into the police dept. but got busted for a DUI just before he was to be put on the force .. It all when down hill from there ..
      Last edited by Lee Pritchard; 06-14-2017, 06:07 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 540Hotrod View Post
        Wow....that's touching.

        I just look around at the crowd on this Forum and most of them are great friends of mine that I've known forever. Though sometimes we've gone years without being in the same room...it's like we instantly can pick up where we left off when we get together. There's not a one of them that I or anyone in my family couldn't pick up the phone and call in the middle of the night and receive instant help without any question. I never worry about having friends to help me.

        Sounds like Darrel was that sort of friend also.

        Not sure what sort of arrangements have been made for him...but the majority of what you've written here would be a fantastic eulogy for a good friend. If you can't be there, it would be great to have it read or at least send to the family.

        I'm also very proud of the son you've raised. To have him see through the situation and come up with an insightful way for you to "spend some time with Darrel" is great. Certainly it was painful....but sounds like you needed that time alone with Darrel one more time...even if it was a short ride.

        You're right about "God's Plans". As I always say..."This Life stuff ain't no dress rehearsal". We should live life to the fullest and enjoy the time we have together....you never know when things will change and you get that call.

        Take care buddy....you and Darrel are in our prayers.

        JIM
        Jim is right on the money ..

        I have be missing for Corsicana for 35 plus years , I could go back today and pick up right where I left off .. Jim , Tanner , Donnie would act like I never left .. It's good feeling knowing my friends are still friends even after all the years ...

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        • #5
          Thanks guys. Yeah, Darrel was like that. We didn't agree on everything, but we never doubted our friendship. There were several times where others stated that "things happened" about two weeks ago, that lead us to think that Darrel knew, and was making amends. Humbles me to think that if it was indeed the case, he wanted to be with me one last time, running around care-free as we had done so many years ago. I was looking forward to it, and was glad that he knew I thought so much of him to do so. Just, like I said, God had other plans.

          I'm heading out today, and it may well be the last time I ever turn to go up this driveway. Bittersweet actually. I'm looking forward to getting home, yet feeling like I'm leaving it.

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          • #6
            Darrel knew something? Sickness??

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            • #7
              Darrel had a heart condition since birth. He had open heart surgery when he was two years old. They told me that his heart pumped backwards. He was the oldest living recipient of that procedure and knew that it would degenerate as he was getting older. He had been feeling it for the past year or two, and they put in a pace-maker and defibrillator to jump start it when it fritzed out. He got hit a few times from that and they pulled his license. He had just gotten his first disability check a month ago and things were starting to look up.

              He had a physical recently and for the condition, doctors said he looked good. I do think he knew something was going on, even if he didn't know exactly...

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              • #8
                Life it short , I have lost some many friends over the years I can't count them.. I always felt I would never make it passed 21 years old ..I'll be 61 in July . Why I'm still here and they are gone I have no clue ..My wife is a CCRN and tells me at least once a week they have someone die in their 30s from heart problems or a stroke ..Very sad when you think about it ...

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                • C5rider
                  C5rider commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Very true Lee.

              • #9
                Thanks for the responses everyone. Just got back from traveling and getting back to "home" mode. Will take some time to get used to not picking up the phone and giving Darrel a quick (they were NEVER quick) call just to check in. Don't feel the need to remove the number from my phone right now. Too soon perhaps...

                As Lee pointed out, you never know when, or how, so it's best to let those around you know that you love them while you have the chance. It may be the last time they hear it, and that'll make it the most meaningful. Don't miss it!

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