Friday, September 18, 2015

Tragedies of Not Knowing The Way

     Odd title, don't ya think?
     Haven't written much due to hectic warm weather work schedule, but only when I play do I realize that knowing the way means "passing of time is fleeting."  We seem to rush towards the ends of our lives, and yet sometimes we get the notion for a little fun and some older folks forget where they are going or how to get there unnoticed.
     They rush around trying to get where they can slowly relax and go to sporting events with their children to watch the grandchildren excel.  But, as always from time to time the oldest are put on the back burner when life's maladies appear and the children forget that just as their parents took care of them they forget to pay attention to the needs of the oldest married couples."
     I once heard a song sung by Fastball called "The Way."  It's a true life tragic story about a couple who are approaching the end of life who desire maybe one last fun day together, because they are ignored by their children.  As the story goes they are an aging couple still madly in love with each other who without telling anyone, even the children, that they've decided to "give it all away" and packing up and going for a fun drive.
     They were leaving for a few days of fun at a Pioneer Days Festival in Temple, Texas about 30 miles or so from Salado, Texas.  The old married couple, Lela and Raymond Howard, who left home in June 1997 didn't know the way they often traveled and disappeared from sight for two weeks.  They had a love for driving highways and vanished and they never told anyone when or where we they going nor how long they would be gone - not even their children until they went searching for them. Hundreds of rescuers were searching for them.
     Sitting in the car the old man is scans thru FM Radio stations and among the songs being played are Roy Orbison's 'You've Got It," Jewel's 'Foolish Games' and Madonna's 'Vogue.' Now you've got to look up the lyrics for "The Way" by Fastball.  To listen to the song my karaoke listeners thinks the song tells how the 'old and gray' couple, whose car breaks down were hit walking along the highway by a passing or drunk motorist.
     Alas, such is not the case.  The married couple had lived a good life, but in the end the children and rescuers couldn't find them, until someone saw their bodies lying next to each other down in deep ravine near Hot Springs, Arkansas, some 300 miles from where they were going.  They weren't hijacked driven someplace and bodies dumped.  Their car did break down, they did walk to find help, but they simply got tired and stumbled down the embankment to their deaths.  As I said, this loving couple left everything behind so they could have some fun - you could say they were neglected and nobody knew where they went.  They had the desire to leave everything behind and spend their last moments together.  So why didn't they arrive in Temple, Texas?
     You see Lela suffered from Alzheimer's and Raymond was recovering from recent brain surgery.  The couple loved each other dearly, but they missed having fun while driving the open road. Doctor visits, getting more pills and procedures and friends and family ignoring them-well they needed to leave - they were sandburs to those who were all into themselves.  Nobody checked on them - they were in all essence divorced from family gatherings, by those who should be taking care of them.  It's a sad song, but it is replayed over and over by grown children who ignore the oldest married couples needs for a little fun, too.

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