October 27, 2013

Remembering a friend gone too soon

Allow me to reflect on friendship. Kaye and I were recently enjoying a vacation at a lake house in the North Georgia Mountains. The setting was idyllic and, sipping our morning coffee, we hadn’t a care in the world. 

Our reverie was interrupted by a telephone ring, and I was grateful to hear the voice of my friend Tom Glasgow. His tone was dark, though, and I sensed bad news coming. I took a deep breath and waited for the worst. Tom’s brother Jack had left this earth after suffering a reported heart attack while walking with his wonderful wife, Chris, that morning. 

I couldn’t breathe or speak for a few moments. It was a thunderbolt that stopped my senses. I’ve known the Glasgows for decades. Jack and I exchanged email messages daily since I don’t remember when. In the Corps, they say, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” Colonel Jack was that and so much more. He ended every email with “Semper Fi.” 

I read his messages to Kaye. We enjoyed sharing both the important and mundane events of our lives with Jack and Chris. Jack told us of health problems in the past, but he always faced them with confidence. He had regular checkups and exercised to ensure that he would remain robust and strong.

Little did any of us know that his future would end far too soon. He told us with excitement that he was a docent-in-training for the Marine Corps Museum and regretted taking a forced hiatus during the recent government shutdown. He had taught many Marines, and this was to be his new chance to share with others his love for the Corps. He never got to lead his first tour of guests at the museum. 

As Kaye and I spent several days with our friend Gloria at the mountain retreat, we thoroughly enjoyed our time there with one notable exception. The Internet service was spotty, and I was able to exchange only a few emails with Jack.

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