Monday, January 23, 2006

My friend

My name is Logan William Roberts. I'm the oldest grandchild on the Roberts side, the namesake of my grandfather, William ‘Bill’ Roberts. I lived literally a stones throw from him and my grandma from 1981 until I graduated from high school in 1998; every time I go home I spend a fair amount of time with him. I’m as close to my grandpa as a person can be. He is about to turn 85 years old, February 15th.
Some people think 85’s old; I suppose. Grandpa’s always been old, at least to me. He was 60 years-old when we moved next door and I don’t remember anything but an older, bald, grey-haired man. But always active; always busy. Things change. A friend becomes a thief.
Grandpa and grandma aren't going to be coming to the wedding. Time – this turncoat friend – is now an enemy, a cruel master who enslaves my friend. Grandpa's condition has worsened; he's becoming irrational, when traveling will forget where he is, the by product – panic attacks. He's stopped going to church because he doesn't think people like him and the bishop hates him – a reality true only in the scattered thoughts of a deteriorating mind.
The news initially upset me because I felt he was being selfish. (His rationale for not coming is he hates flying; over Thanksgiving he flew to Arizona for a grandchild’s wedding.) My anger’s turned to sadness; from sadness to pity.
Reality is I will see my friend one more time in this life. Even if he lives ten more years, my friend is almost gone; he soon won’t remember me. He'll never get to know my beautiful wife; she'll never get to know him. My children will never get to see him. This pain ripping at my heart is because I have never known life without him; he has always been around the corner. I love him very much. Already I miss him; the Sunday milkshakes, the garden-planting quandary, the Sunday dinners…the company of a friend.
In the shroud of this foreign emotion named loss I see a silver lining, a ray of light becoming a tangible rod of hope and peace. It is truth. Truth is the gospel. The gospel is eternal. He is not lost, consigned forever to the recess of memories to be robbed by time as it has my friend. Ordinances and the grace of one Eternal Being assure my beautiful wife and children will know my friend without his physical limitations and imperfections. They will embrace; he will hold them and know their names. Tragedy breaking my heart has the ability to strengthen; it does so even now. It is the nature of eternity. My friend will be delivered from the cruel master time by our stronger, more powerful and merciful Brother.
My name is Logan William Roberts. I am the oldest grandchild on the Roberts side; the namesake of my grandfather, William ‘Bill’ Roberts. I love him.