Last Thursday a good friend and local club member passed. Gary Cahill was in his 60s, a quite but avid T modeler. A (retired) architect by trade he always was developing plans for his model T's and putting them into reality. He enjoyed woodwork and it seemed to go hand in hand with the hobby. He loved the beauty and simplicity of the Model T. I was compelled to open this thread because of one of the other post concerning the loss of another fellow enthusiast and a opportunistic visit that was very timely by one of his friends. Gary died of brain cancer. He fought it well with loving support from his sweetheart (wife) and family. During the past two years, In visits with him post surgery and follow up treatment, he was very positive about the outcome. I thought he had beaten it. He never said differently. I write this because during those two years I would visit him sometimes complaining about my woes and his solution was always a ride in his express T model down the country roads in middle Mississippi. Still able to find an abundance of long dirt roads less traveled we would roll through the farmland crossing aged suspended bridges and leaving behind time, the woes and stress. Hearing the comforting cadence of the coils firing the engine, the pace of the ride and scenery were enough to let me relax and drift into a short snooze. Sometimes we spoke about my problems but more times than not the ride down the roads with a friend and the sweet sounds of the model T was therapy enough. By the time we got back to his place and a sit down in rocking chairs he built, with ice tea as the beverage of choice, everything seemed right again. In the last several months my business became more involved and my visits were traded for phone calls though I passed within 20 miles of his home often during that time. Gary was always in good spirits and until last Thursday when I received a text from Margaret (his sweetheart) that he had gone to be with Jesus, I never knew that he had still been battling the cancer, he never let on. Maybe this is cathartic for me but I am sorry that in my mind I was to busy or the distance to great to make the detour to see my friend who had been there for me. With more years behind me than in front of me I won't let that happen again with other friends. Don't be me, take the time, make the detour, see your friends, give more than you receive. Gary was an example of courage and friendship that I failed to reciprocate. I will miss him deeply.
The last part of your message rings true. I too have lost friends because life got in the way. Take that extra step. Sorry for the loss of your friend
John....thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. It's times like this when we come to understand some of the more important things in life...like taking the time to visit friends before it too late.
Thanks John for sharing... Most of us,certainly myself could and should do a better job visiting family and friends as much as possible....I keep saying I will but seems it never happens as much as it should..... Your message hit the spot.... Sorry for the loss of your friend and I know you will miss him and his company.... I have lost so many friends in the last few years and it never gets any easier as precious time slips by so quickly... just like our friends.....reading your message has brought to my attention my faults that I hope to correct.....May God Bless
Thank you, John T, for that important and timely reminder.
And let me offer my sympathies for the loss of your friend.
About a dozen years ago, one of my mentors, a former neighbor that had been an auto shop teacher and Horseless Carriage hobbyist for many years, was reaching the end of his life. Me, always busy with family issues and work, had not visited enough for years. I did occasionally manage to stop by and visit when I was in the area, and knew that his time was short. One day, I made that extra effort, pushed work aside, and went by his home.
We sat in the den, and chatted for a bit. It quickly became clear that the recent health setbacks had deprived his brain of sustaining oxygen. Even at an advanced age, a year earlier he was still active and sharp. Now, it was clear that dementia had set in. Sitting in the den of the home he had built himself about 1960, he asked me if I had any trouble finding the "new place". His wonderful wife gave me a look of horror at that statement. I gave her a knowing nod, and said "its okay". The rest of the while, we sat and talked, and she appeared content in spite of a few things that made no sense.
He passed a few days later.
Sadly, I have not always done so well. About two years ago, I suddenly lost one of my longest time best friends. It was not expected. I had not talked with him for a year. I miss him.
Some of the best friends that any person in the world has ever had have been there for me.
I need to do better.
Wayne, and others... The philosopher in me is presenting itself with something I've learned: "All we can do is try." Time waits for nobody, and unless we are God, we can't be everything for everybody! We've all lost a friend or relative, younger or of any age, and most will ultimately know the reference. 'Genuine' people (lots of 'em found here w/MTFCA) will always present themselves in that manner, whether they are in person or not. My distaste is the 'plastic people' seeming to have a nose problem.
Perhaps a little encouragement rather than regret is in order for this discussion.
My Dad, Marty Fischer, was a lifetime car enthusiast who died unexpectedly at age 65. His last car project, a 1932 Pierce Arrow, was just barely finished when he passed.
About two years before his death, he had a big setback on his project. With the car fully painted, upholstered, and going together, he noticed a "wave" in one of the doors. He worked out the wave, but was out of paint and unable to match the color. There would be no choice other than to repaint the entire car. For anyone who had done a full body off restoration of a classic car, you know how much of a setback he faced.
He let the car sit for nearly a year. While visiting at Thanksgiving, I asked him when he was going to finish up the car. Only then did he explain the situation. Worse yet, Dad was not a painter. And he could not ask the fellow club member to repeat his work.
Although I consider myself only a duffer as a painter, I volunteered to do the job for him. My home was 45 miles away, but I moved all my painting equipment to his house and began coming to his house each Saturday and occasional Sundays.
Each weekend he would have a forest of small parts hanging from coat hangars in the garage. After all the small pieces came the task of removing as much upholstery as possible and protecting the rest from overspray. Ditto the fully installed engine compartment.
Over a period of a few months, he was back to final assembly. Dad was 64 and I was 39, and through that project we shared lots of good hours and raised our bonding to a whole new level. He and Mom made it to the National Pierce Arrow Meet in Yellowstone that fall.
He died soon afterward of a sudden heart attack. I never got to say goodby. But to this day I cherish the time we spent together in his garage. Perhaps the best thing I ever did.
I keep getting "When are you coming out?" from old friends in California. I guess I'd better go this year while we still have most of our faculties and can still recognize each other.
John, I'm sure your friend understood. My best friend is battling kidney failure. I just don't have the time to get by there as much as I would like. Spent the weekend at his house in the front yard doing a yard sale. It was as much about spending time with him as anything else. Didn't sell much but got to spend time him.
What a beautiful tribute to your friend ....
Yesterday I stopped in Spokane & spent a few hours with my oldest brother Joe who has been dealing with MS for over 10 years.
He is rightfully proud.
I had not seen him in about (5) years.
Quite a guy - he refuses to succumb ....
We all should take what actual little time left and allocate a good portion of it to family & friends ....
Thank You !