Only The Lonely Know

I don’t know if I am sad or happy…or perhaps, happy sad…..20131114_152430

I watched a video about an 89 year old WWII veteran and a small neighbor boy that have become fast friends.

It didn’t make me cry….much.

I’m a big hairy truck driver, people!!!!

Please, watch it here: Old Friends

“It’s kinda lonely out here, sometimes” said the elderly vet.

That broke my heart (good and bad) and y’all know me; it got me to thinking about life, my life; your life…our lives.

Will I be a bitter, lonely old man one day?

Will I be tottering around in my small garden seeking friendship from a 3 year old child because my people have forgotten me; or worse, discounted me as relevant to the progression of our species?

Will I…we…be dismissed as….well, just dismissed?

If we are “cursed” to the extent that everyone around us throughout our tenure on this rock has passed on to the undiscovered country before us….that we outlive them….

The people that we have liked, loved, adored, admired, learned from or have touched us in any particular or meaningful way every day of our life;

th (2)

That we outlive them is not a blessing….

Not the way I see it…

Is it selfish that I want to die before my children or ANYONE that I love more than myself?

I mean, I’m like everyone else that is a rational human being.

I want to live as long as I can; as long as I am healthy, can fend for myself or I can keep myself busy…

I do not want to be a burden on others.

I will die before I let that happen.

Matter of fact…that would probably kill me anyways…

I don’t wanna live amongst strangers.

Especially strangers that I am related to, but don’t relate to me….254

Put on the shelf at the back of the pantry…

Forgotten and dusty……way past expiration.

That’s why there is hope in this world; that heavenly gift.

That’s why there are always new friends to be made…

That’s why love exists….hope springs eternal and charity never faileth….

I can imagine; and have experienced it, even in my dark times; that a new friend can lead a lost soul from the suffocating shadows of loneliness.

What is a tear compared to the power of a smile?


What is loneliness compared to a truly kind gesture?


The steadying hand on my elbow as I climb stairs…

Someone helping me to take my groceries to the car…

A neighbor that calls you for a freaking hour from the fence, and when I show up at the front door, frowning like old people do; they laugh and say “Good….just wanted to make sure you weren’t dead!” then they laugh their butts off as they run up to the steps to grab my hand and say, so genuinely; “Mornin’ Mr. Trey, the wife says the coffees ready and she’s got some awesome biscuits made drowned in Mayhaw jelly….just like you like‘em….”

Smothered in love….Buttered with thoughtfulness.

Could I….will I…. be that truly blessed in my golden years?


Back to the story above….

We know the old man is a vet from WWII.

I don’t know if he ever saw combat or what…

But picture this; for an example

Do you think that as he lay on the beaches of Normandy; sea-sick, wet, terrified, shell shocked, with boys his own age screaming and dying around him; explosions and bullets whipping over his head…do you think it passed through his mind the possibility that one day, far in the future; that he would be living alone, his remaining family members either dead or just non-attentive; his wife in a nursing home because he can barely take care of himself…..that his best friend would be a 3 year old boy?

“It’s kinda lonely out here, sometimes” says the elderly vet.

Just him and his tomatoes….

Think about that statement for just a minute….not the tomato one.

It is always lonely out here for lots of people.

The homeless, addicts, alcoholics, the mentally ill, the abused and battered….the scared….ad infinitum.

The regular people get lonely too….

Remember that we are the stewards of our brethren, the protectors of the weak and persecuted.

We are the answer to our neighbor’s loneliness….

Hope never dies when a single heart beats with charity.


The true definition of charity has been skewed.

Charity isn’t about money, donations or avoiding the road to hell; nor the building of mansions on real estate; far, far, away….

Charity is a hand on an elbow, steadying a feeble gait.

Charity is listening…

Charity is not forgetting that charity exists…

Charity is in hope….

“It’s kinda lonely out here, sometimes” said the elderly vet.

Nevertheless….the child is his friend.

A child….

Does it matter that some people prefer to be alone?

I like being alone sometimes, just like y’all.

Sometimes I need time to myself….quiet time; just like y’all.

I like to be alone when it is my decision.

But I can stop that loneliness anytime I want.

What about the people that have only loneliness for a life?

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What about the old man or woman that watches the neighborhood families play, kids in the ball parks….family showing up during the holidays and screaming and hugging on the front porch….?

When the hole in their soul sighs….

She remembers when her family was everywhere at once…

He remembers hiding from the relatives when they showed up for the holidays…

“Pretend we’re not here, Agnes….maybe they’ll leave.”

Then getting drunk with the brother in laws….

Fussing about the men getting drunk…

They’re all gone now…

The wife is in a nursing home, she doesn’t remember her name or who he is…

Oh….people forget….

Remember, who we are.

Remember, that people get lonely.

Remember that charity, love and hope make an excellent soup.

Remember that we…you and me….are children of God, and it is a privilege to love thy neighbor.

It is a commandment, actually.

Why should we be commanded to love our neighbors in the first place?

Because, it is the doom of man that we forget….

Do you know why we should not forget about the lonely ones?

Because love conquers all, people.lonely-old-woman

There is no need to be lonely….ever.

Only a smile, steadying hand or an interested ear is all it takes to wipe away loneliness….

Love conquers….ALL.

There is no need to be lonely….ever.

Think about that…..hope.

Think about that….charity.


Think about how terrible loneliness is or can be when you are surrounded by people that could care less if you silently weep into the pillow on your absent spouses side of the bed, trying to smell them….the night light glowing softly because you’re scared to sleep in the dark now; when the house is empty and you are….alone.

And no one would hear you….

Love conquers….ALL.

There is no need to be lonely….ever.

Think about that…..hope.

Think about that….charity.

Knock on a door…

Steady an elbow…



2 thoughts on “Only The Lonely Know”

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