I was supposed to have lunch with an old friend today but it didn’t work out. We had made the appointment several weeks ago and I had duly noted it in my calendar.  I hadn’t phoned this morning but simply showed up at his home to pick him up.   He had mentioned last month that he’d lost his driving privileges due to declining ability which was no big deal for me—I’d gladly pick him up.

But when I got to the door he was still in pajamas and bathrobe.  There was a look of terror in his face and his wife was standing next to him holding him steady.  His first comments were “Jamey, I am so sorry.  I totally forgot our appointment”.  His wife further filled in the gap by explaining that “he had written something on the kitchen calendar for this date but his handwriting was a scratch and neither of them could figure out “who” or “what” was the appointment for this day”.  They were both shocked when it was me that showed up.

Of course I was gracious.  But I was sad.  I volunteered to come in for a cup of coffee to sit with two octogenarians as they talked about their situation.  He had been diagnosed with initial stage dementia only a week ago and was really in no place to be taking appointments without checking with his wife.  He sat glumly listening.  I think he understood but when he entered into the conversation he was more concerned about filling me in on his graduation from Bible college in the mid 50’s.   She turned to me and quietly begged my forbearance.  Of course.

I prayed with them–that they would both know that there is “strength in weakness” for God promises that His strength is actually made stronger in our weakness.  I recall vividly the crazy image from the 60’s when a protesting young woman marched up to a National Guardsmen in the U.S. and inserted a daisy into the barrel of his rifle.  That action and subsequent picture spoke volumes about power.

But back to my original post title.  It’s getting more difficult to hang out with friends lately.  They just don’t have the availability and energy to go like they used to go.  I haven’t had many teenagers call for opportunity to hang out with me.  Maybe I need to be more assertive in my initiatives.  Some of my friends are getting older.  Me too.