Today I had a sad event; I learned a friend is dead.

I used to work with Robert back in my “State Hospital” days. He liked to play the bagpipes. At lunch he would go down into the bowels of the hospital and practice his pipes, so as not to bother anyone. Bob would play just for the asking, for he loved his pipes. I remember him as a comical fellow, a bit of a clown. I left that job in 2000 and I never saw him again.

Throughout the years I kept his business card advertising ‘A Piper’ for hire.  Every couple of years I would find the card among my papers. I would think to call him and say hello, but this never happened.  This delayed ‘should’ matter began to nag me. I hesitated mostly as there was nothing really to call about. I merely wanted to say hello and was thinking about him. I would call him, or locate him on Facebook – but this never got done.

Today I decided dammit, I would do a web search. First thing I find is a blog his family set up as testimony. He died in August 2010.  The posted photos showed he was older of course, but he still had the same jovial perky face and whiskers. And he still had his bagpipes.

I wish there was a word to describe this situation: you think of a friend or relative you mean to call, but then the years pass. When you finally reach out they are gone. Usually recently. This conjures up emotions of sadness, regrets – guilt too, for having not acted sooner. “If only I had called !”

Alas, this has happened many times in my life. I need to act when this happens.

I advise Spo-fans to call the “Roberts” in their lives. Don’t delay it another week. They will be blithe to hear from you; you will feel good for doing so.