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Alone in the Sea of Humanity


Many years ago when I was in my prime, I was approached while sitting in my booth at McCormack Place in Chicago. There standing in my presence was a beautiful young woman obviously looking for a friendly face that she could open up to. We were surrounded by thousands of business people from all over the world, and yet I was to be her sounding board for the best part of an hour. She asked if she could sit and talk while she was on her break and I was more than pleased to accept her into my space. This petite vivacious young woman was one of Hollywood’s greatest stars, I was in the presence of Debbie Reynolds. I can’t remember what I said or how I must have looked but it didn’t matter, Ms. Reynolds was there to unload a terrible story to whoever would listen. I was to receive the story of her terrible marriage with Eddy Fisher and how she had lost her fortune to him and what was left to her agent. She was destitute and working in a booth at the Housewares show to support herself and her daughter who later became a star in her own right. This beautiful woman sat for what seemed to be such a short time and poured out her sad tale. When she left, I realised we had spent the better part of an hour together. This story is meant to show how desperate people can become in a world of strangers. We think we have so many friends and we will never be alone and desperate for a pleasant smile or a friendly greeting. Think again!

As we all know, Debbie did make a spectacular come back. Her daughter Cary Fisher was also a star in Hollywood and sadly both are gone from this earth. Our generation will all soon be gone and I fear that our morals and standards will be gone with us. We seem to care less and less for our fellow travellers as it is more and more a world of self indulgence. Time is consumed with daily pressures and no time is set aside for true valued quiet reflection. Our spare time is consumed by electronic gizmos and Twitter and Face book and mind-numbing games on I pads.  Less and less time is spent with family and friends discussing world and local events.

While lying in bed this morning, not able to sleep. I started to reflect on my life and how in such a short time, it has changed. If you are lucky to live beyond 80 you will probably start to realise that you are taking up space that could be better utilized. Our health starts to fail, we forget more and we have to go forward every day planning even every step so we do not fall  and break a hip. If we have more serious health problems, we will start to notice our healthier friends will fall away until only the closest ones will be there for you. This causes anxiety and unfriendly thoughts. My wife and I have been fortunate to have had a very full life and over the years we have made many dear friends. I have counted over 20 couples that I thought were very close, they have disappeared from our lives. Many relatives also have been caught up in this world’s whirl wind of pressures and demands. My younger brother who was very close, I thought of him as a son has not called me in 20 years. What causes family members to be so cruel?  All of a sudden, I look around at my situation and realise that it might be time to go. 

It is a frightening world and becoming very foreign to my generation. In spite of terrible wars and the lack of food and shelter for many, it was a kinder place, we had time for family and always had as many as four generations at gatherings.  Our spare time was going to church events and outside sports. Ice cream was a treat and a bath once a week on Saturday night was the norm. Family dinners were some sort of beef or pork with potatoes and vegetables. Chicken on Sunday night was the best meal of the week. Work was expected if you wanted the basics of life and more work if you wanted to do better than that.

I have had a number of set backs over the last three years. Arthritis has set into my hips, feet and ankles as a result of a serious auto accident when I was 27, sciatic pain in my back and the tremors are plaguing me, and a kidney stone that I can’t pass has given me pain for the past 8 weeks. One year ago, I was under the knife to have my esophagus removed with cancer. As I have been writing this piece, I  had a call from my doctor’s office to inform me that a Cat scan is showing a growth on my right kidney.

We all are given problems in this life to deal with, some more than others.  Debbie got over her bad times and had a full and satisfying life. She experienced lonely times with no one to turn to for help. I don’t know if she was a Christian and had her God to turn to. I do know that I have my faith that Jesus died for my sins and I will see him in the great beyond when he is ready to take me.

We must not put our faith in friends and relatives, mankind is not up to the challenge as they will fail us. Our true strength has to be in our Heavenly Father.

God help me.    Paul D. Scott.

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