Visiting an old friend
I had to drive from one end of town to the other this morning, and realized I would pass right by the assisted living facility where my friend Hugh Ross now resides, so it seemed only sensible that I stop and visit for a spell.
Hugh was one of my idols when I was a rookie bridge players, and I count it as one of the great boons of life that he became my friend and bridge partner. Bridge may be the most democratic game there is–if I golfed I’d never get to play with Nicklaus or Woods or Els, but I’ve played with a few world class players and against many more.
Serious health issues preclude Hugh from playing at the highest levels of the game, but I got him out to play in local club games a couple of years ago. He still fills in with the other residents of his facility–they surely can’t imagine with whom they are playing.
He looks great, an impressive 6′ 3″ with a magnificent head of hair. His speech is a bit slower, but still has his dry Canadian wit (he’s from Montreal, and attended McGill).
The place he lives seems nice to me He has his own room and bath with cable TV, a good view, family photos and a bed long enough for his frame. There is a day room, a dining room, and a variety of nooks to just hang out in.
Hugh’s wife, Min, visits daily and usually takes dinner with him. I didn’t know it at the time but she was in the same facility, different floor, for a month to get over some issues of her own. She went home today, feeling better.
In about 30 minutes I filled Hugh in on the latest bridge gossip, made small talk about the weather and the quality of institutional food and excused myself before I became a nuisance. One should never keep a man away from lunch hour.
Friends are the important. Make time for them; they would be awfully hard to replace.