Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How will I know when I am old?

© By Othmar Vohringer

I asked my father the above question when I was about seven years old. My father replied, “When your friends die faster then you can make new friends then you know that you're getting old.”

Over the past three weeks I was reminded of my fathers words in a painful way. Christmas and the weeks leading up to it have been an emotional roller coaster. Three weeks before Christmas I learned that a good friend of mine passed away in America. Then a week after that I received a message that a former professional colleague in Germany suffered a terrible work related accident. To this day he is in an artificial coma and doctors battle to save his arm and a leg. At this point even the doctors are not able to say for sure if my colleague will be free of any mental or physical damage due to severe brain and body injury.

On Christmas day I had a wonderful time with my wife Heidi and her family. For one day, surrounded by family and friends I was able to relax a bit and looked forward to a cheerful New Year celebration. Yesterday however, that wish was shattered, I received news that a very dear friend of mine in Germany suddenly passed away. This was a friend most of us are fortunate to find ones in a lifetime, more like a brother than a friend.

I am still shocked about this news and really have no words for it, but the tears in my eyes and the pain in my heart speak volumes of how I feel at the moment. Two weeks ago we exchanged letters in which my friend told me how much he looked forward to move to Spain this coming spring where the weather is warmer and not so wet as in Germany. We also talked about me visiting him in Spain where we have mutual friends. Now I will never see him again and it still somehow doesn't compute in my brain. I looked so much forward to this visit.

Somehow this reminds me of 26 years ago. I worked in Germany then. On a Thursday evening I phoned my parents in Switzerland to tell them that I would visit on Sunday. Saturday morning the phone rang. I picked up and my brother on the other end told me tear chocked that Mama just passed away in her sleep. This feels very much like Déjà vu. Instead of visiting I will attend a funeral.

New Year is supposed to be something joyful but for me, at least this year, it will end in mourning for the loss of two good friends and the worry about a colleague. The New Year is also a time for resolutions. Mine was to quit smoking but that will have to wait for next year, or whenever I feel like it. My resolution for the New Year is to spend more time with the few friends I have left and with my family. These are the two really important things in life. Family and good friends are like the roots of a tree. They give us stability and strength. We often take family and friends for granted but as the past several weeks have shown me we shouldn’t.

I wish all my fellow outdoor bloggers and my readers a very Happy New Year, good health and prosperity. You’re all like friends and have given me support through your comments and emails and I do not take that for granted. As we say goodbye to the old and welcome the New Year tell your spouse, children and friends how much you appreciate having them around you and how much they mean to you.

In 2010 Outdoors with Othmar Vohringer will continue to provide you with information, news and opinions on everything hunting and fishing related. 2010 will also be an anniversary of sorts. This blog will celebrate its 5th birthday. To be honest I never thought that my blog will last that long. Not only did the blog last that long but has grown to proportions I never thought possible. This would not have been possible without all of you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This blog post has been brought to you by Othmar Vohringer Outdoors

17 comments:

Rick Kratzke said...

Othmar, I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friend and the accident of your colleague. For some reason bad things always seem to happen around good holidays and I am sincerely thinking of you.
I try to go on the premise that you are only as old as you think you are so my advice to you is to think positive and think young.

On a side note are you originally from Germany? I ask because I am half German and that is where my grandparents came from. Just wondering!

Happy New Year to You & Heidi

SimplyOutdoors said...

Othmar, I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your friends, and that one of your friends is in the fight for his life.

Life can suck sometimes.

Hopefully there is comfort in knowing that they are in a better place now, and that all of us will get there one day.

And Happy New Year my friend. Enjoy it.

Mel said...

Othmar, thanks for sharing from the depth of your heart and soul.I am so sorry to hear of your losses over the past few days. Your colleague is in my prayers tonight. Life is un-predictable, yet, I believe that everything takes place for a reason. Only God knows why.

I like Rick's thought. You are only as old as you think you are! Take care my good friend and here is to a healthy and happy 2010.

God bless from my Blog Cabin.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thank you all for your kind word. I got good news the injured man has woken up. His father tells me he can move everything, talks and remembers. The doctors are confident that they can save his arm and leg.

To all of you a very Happy New Year and nothing but the best.

-ov-

Othmar Vohringer said...

rick - I am from the German speaking part Switzerland but lived and traveled for many years in Germany. Do you know where from Germany your Grandparents came from?

Happy New Year to you and yours too.

-ov-

CDGardens said...

Sorry to hear of the sadness that has started 2010 for you.

You send a good reminder to all of us not to take one another for granted...Like you mentioned we never know when the last time will be when we are no longer able to communicate with each other in this life.

Wishes to you for better days ahead.

Othmar Vohringer said...

CD Gardens - I too wish you and yours a happy New Year and that may it bring the best of everything for you.

-ov-

native said...

Haven't heard from you in awhile Othmar and likewise, I have not visited in awhile either.

Just been very, very busy keepin' the old head above water.

So sorry that tragedy has struck you so hard and in such volume, but keeping ones chin up is always a good start at getting through.

I will try and visit your site more this often this year, as I have always enjoyed your comments over at the Hog Blog and Norcal Cazadora and essays here as well.

The very best to you and family in this coming New Year!

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thanks for visiting by blog Native. Likewise here. I haven't had much time to visit other blogs. The economy is though and the bottom line has to be met. Hopefully that will soon get a bit easier.

My best wishes for the New Year to you and your too.

-ov-

Editor said...

Good Luck to you Othmar, hope the rest of 2010 will be rewarding and fun.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Belatedly, Othmar, I'd like to offer my condolences too. This is a hard time of year - a lot of people leave us around the holidays. It must be crushing, though, to get so much bad news all at once.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Editor and Holly to you too a very Happy New Year with all my best wishes.

I sure hope the new year will be better then the old one ended. after something like that it only can go up.

-ov-

Marian Love Phillips said...

I'm so sorry Othmar that you have lost your dear friends...but glad the other friend has awaken and on the rode to recovery.

I'm wishing you and Heidi a peaceful and Happy New Year! Marian

Tom Sorenson said...

Sometimes the realities of life can suck the enjoyment out of living for awhile. At these times we have to keep going on inspite of how we feel.

Best of days in the New Year!

This is actually gary, I'm signed in under Tom's account I see.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Marian and Gary Thank you for the kind words and I too wish you the very best of everything in the New Year.

-ov-

Kristine Shreve said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friends. It is always hard to lose people you love. As you so rightly pointed out, the best you can do is carry on their memories, and hold the people who are still with you a little more tightly.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thanks Kristine. Unfortunately, since I wrote that column we lost two friends and relatives. We got the news just two days ago. Does the mad news ever going to stop?

I sure hope so.

-ov-

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