Total Pageviews

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day, True friends vs families

Well, It's Memorial Day, 2009. It's just Deanna and I today. I am tired, just plain tired.

On another sad note, I just called a dear friend of 30 years in Maryville, TN. His name is Dan Neubert. He was a Blount Sheriff's Office Road Sargent for many years. He is in his mid 70's now. He had a minor heart attack 2 years ago. He is very overweight, and is on oxygen. He lost his wife of over 50 years 3 years ago and has 1 daughter and 1 son. When I called him he said he had been sitting at home alone all day. No invites from the kids to come BBQ, etc. His son never comes to see him. If an emergency comes up, he is the first one there, but doesn't spend time with his dad just to spend time. Dan and Wilma lost a child at birth almost to the day I was born. I have know Dan forever, his sister in law was my Cub Scout Den Mother. When I worked at the Highway Patrol, I would get off shift and then ride with Dan. In 1980, Dan had lost his job at the SO under false circumstances. I was running an Exxon Station for my Dad in Maryville at the time and Deanna worked with me. We were in line at Kmart and Dan and Wilma was in front of us. I spoke to him and realized who he was and that we were still close. We stepped outside and I found out he was out of a job and their backs were against the wall. I hired Dan on the spot. Later he told me that it was an act of God. They had no food in the house, almost out of Gas, and were ready to lose their home.

Anyway, It was God at work. Today, Dan was so happy to hear from me, he always calls me his Son. Dan introduced me to Freemasonry. He paitently taught me my Degree work and has always been behind me. I am proud to call him a Brother as a Mason, But he is truly like a Father.
His kids don't know what they are missing out on. I vow to start calling him at least three times a week, just to let him know I am out here. My wife Deanna, thinks there is no better friend or Man than Dan Neubert Sr. That is true.
He was tired of sitting in the house today, waiting for someone to come. He told me he called his sister and asked if he bought the steaks, would she cook them, he was ready to go out the door oxygen bottle and all.

I guess times have changed, I remember gatherings at my Grandparent's home. It did not even have to be a special occasion. Just all the family would gather, bring something, like me Aunt Francis's Chocolate Cake. We would all, probably 25, just be together for the sake of being together. Both my Grandparents are gone now, the last in 1990. The family has not gotten together since, except at Funerals. Of course there is the we have got to get together remarks, but no one does it. Families today, at least Deanna and mine, does not know what they are missing.

We had a home on Altura Dr here on Signal Mountain that burned down in 2000. We tried to have a weekly dinner. Nothing special, just everyone sit down together and share a meal. After a few weeks, there were reasons one or the other couldn't be there and finally we gave up.

I guess that is enough self pity for one day. I hope everyone out there had a great Memorial Day and remembered the reason for this Holiday. To honor those who given their lives for their country. At their homes there is an empty chair that will never be filled. I hope their families made the most of the times they had available with this loved one, it was precious.

After North Korea set off their Nuclear Weapon today, I also hope it turns on some light bulbs in peoples heads about how fragile our lives really are.

All the Best, and with the best intentions

Mitch Thurmer

1 comment:

Living Day to Day with Multiple Sclerosis said...

Mitch, I am so sorry to hear about everything that is going on with your family. It was good for your friend and for you to have the time to talk to each other. Happy Memorial Day!!