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A Good Friend Of Mine

Has just passed away...

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#1 MrParr1Noid

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:54 PM

A good friend of mine has just passed away.   Well it's not like anyone else out there hasn't experienced sad moments in their lives as well but.   He was fun to be around.   He didn't teach me anything about the swing.   He didn't teach me anything about much...but hell man, he taught me how to have fun that I hadn't experienced before..   He taught me how to get to where I needed to be, in order to get to where I needed to be at, in order to shoot less than what I used to shoot.

I  will miss him.   Golf is about life, and he was about golf.   In the past few years his distance was sorely lacking, yet he shot his age several times each month.   It wasn't so much that his game was stellar but that he was a stellar guy, and he did enjoyed life.  And I will miss him and his company, and I will miss his banter and  I will miss what he has added to my life..

And life goes on... :drinks: .

p.s.  Come to think of it. he taught me one hell of a lot.

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#2 Johnny Hack

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:43 AM

Condolences to you and his family. I am sorry to hear about your friends passing. I too lost a good friend (Golf Buddy) a little over a year ago and he is sorely missed.
His humor and quirkiness, as well as his company on and off the course left a hole in my life as well. We can both take solice that our friends are in a better place now, and try to honor their memories by having as much fun on the Golf Course as well as off, and keeping them in our hearts every time we Tee It Up, and being thankful for the time that they were in our lives.

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PS: I have replaced my putter with one of his in my bag and call on him for help when I need to roll one in.

Edited by Johnny Hack, 09 January 2013 - 08:45 AM.

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#3 MrParr1Noid

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:54 AM

Johnny Hack, thanks for your kind and encouraging words, they're most appreciated.  While sitting here contemplating golf, and then contemplating life?   Well, they're kind of alike, and I couldn't begin to explain either.   But I tell you what, I know it when I see it... :)

Thank You

Mac

p.s.  It would be nice to have one of my friends putters but...I would much rather have his putting stroke, never seen one like it, never seen one as good.
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#4 Bobtrumpet

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:26 PM

Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your friend.

#5 Awsi Dooger

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:07 PM

It was good to find a thread like this. I've been looking for an excuse to mention more about my dad, who died in late October. He was a remarkable man, and my golfing buddy the past few years, after I returned to Miami to be closer to him after my mom died in 2008.

Dad had pulmonary fibrosis, a lung condition with no known cause, treatment or cure. Life expectancy from diagnosis is 2-5 years. I think I mentioned dad on this site about a year and a half ago, not long after he was put on oxygen. Dad wasn't going to let a portable tank stop him. I'll never forget our first trip to the course. He was perfectly capable of moving around minus oxygen, and I suspected he'd merely use the tank in the cart between shots. Instead, dad walked up there with the tank around his waist. I said, "What are you doing? " He replied, "Just watch." Dad shifted the tank from the front of his waist to the back as if he'd practiced it for decades. Then he smacked one down the middle. I looked at him with a coy smile. Dad responded with a big grin and said: "When you've got bananas...sell bananas."

That was his attitude throughout the struggle with pulmonary fibrosis. He only expressed atypical anger when his oxygen cable would get caught on something. At that point he became unnerved, longing for the days before oxygen, when he was "a normal person."

Dad was active and doing quite well, given the circumstances, and we were very hopeful of the full 5 years until dad caught acute pneumonia on a trip to see my sister in late August in North Carolina. Apparently it happened in a hotel room. Dad simply couldn't afford anything like that...no margin. He was hospitalized three times subsequently and never came close to regaining his prior baseline. Median life expectancy after contracting acute interstitial pneumonia is a month and a half. Dad lived just slightly longer than that. In his final week his oxygen demand was so great it was the highest the hospital could offer, set at 15 with a huge mask.

Our final round together was August 9th. Sadly, I don't remember much about it, other than I didn't play well. It was during the Olympics and we were watching that coverage together almost every night. But a week earlier on August 2nd dad holed out for eagle from 74 yards on a short par 4. I took some of his ashes there 5 days after he died and spread them, on the tee box and in the hole and as close as I could to the spot of the second shot. It was raining moderately, which was fine since there no golfers and gave me plenty of time, which I badly needed given the emotion. It helped that dad made that eagle on his new favorite hole. He came full circle since that course where we played his final year and a half was the same one -- under a different name -- where he first got a golf membership for the family, but primarily for me, during the 1970s.

Dad was home for a few weeks after the first hospitilzation. But he couldn't pretend to play golf. At one point he wanted to get me out there, while he rode along. But I wasn't sure he could handle it physically, and I wasn't certain that I could emotionally. I still haven't been able to play a round, or even visit the range, since his death. It's partially because of something he suggested to me a few days before his death, when we knew it was imminent. I told dad I wasn't going to sell his clubs. "Play a round with them," he said, a gleam in his eye and upbeat tone. I hadn't thought of that. I told dad I would play the first round with his clubs, which are old Cobras with TaylorMade Rescue Mids. After my mom died I hit a ceremonial opening tee shot with her driver.

Dad's last game of any sort was Mini Putt on his computer. He basically couldn't move those final days. Pulmonary fibrosis in its final stages ravages the system, one of the worst ways to die. If he moved even a moderate amount his oxygen reading plummeted to the low 70s, and bells went off on the machinery. But I set up the MacBook Pro on dad's lap and he played a couple of full rounds of Mini Putt. I took a video, knowing I'd treasure those moments. Even with his body all but failed dad still put every bit of concentration and pride into that game, and was frustrated at the diabolical greens on a couple of holes.

A couple of days before he died I was scrambling for any topic. We did many audio recordings, now priceless within the family. Years earlier we had enough foresight to make 8 hours worth of video tapes, dad describing his life while my sister and I interviewed him. I recommend that to everyone. On the final days I thought to ask dad who I should root for, going forward in golf. I knew who his favorites were, like Mickelson and Kuchar, so nothing surprised me until the end: "Michelle Wie...and the Irishman (Rory McIlroy). Most of all, I hope Tiger catches and passes Nicklaus. I want him to destroy that record."

Now that was shocking. Dad had never been much of a Tiger fan, and less so after the Thanksgiving incident. When we watched Doral together I'm not sure dad ever followed Tiger's group, even for one hole. But situational influence played a role, and dad was beyond irritated at some of the statements Nicklaus made leading toward November. It's a topic not welcome on this site so I'll steer clear, but it should be obvious what I'm referring to. Dad didn't mind the partisanship as much as lack of respect, Nicklaus refusing to even call someone by name, saying "that other guy."

So at the end my dad was viciously anti-Jack. And now I guess I'll pull for Tiger to get to 19, which wasn't exactly my plan, although I've always expected and predicted he would.

Finally, many thanks to the posters who found out about my dad's death and responded in threads on the ladies golf forum, or via personal message. It meant a lot. And particular appreciation to one poster who responded in the thread a year or so ago, saying his mother suffered from the same type of lung condition. He encouraged me to savor the remaining time with my dad, and to tell him he was a remarkable man, the term I'd used in the thread. I took your advice, many times over.

Edited by Awsi Dooger, 09 January 2013 - 07:21 PM.


#6 Sean2

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:09 PM

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. But by the sound of it your memories will keep him alive for a long, long time to come, which is a great testimonial.
Hey...be nice.

#7 freddiec

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:23 PM

Both very moving stories and accounts. I'm very sorry for your loss and it makes me think how fortunate we are to have close family and parents around and not take them for granted. I really love the idea of doing a long video to capture memories.  We are lucky to have Dad and Mom as a golf partner and friends because those memories will certainly stay with us a very long time.

#8 flip flappy

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:11 PM

Very moving stories, my condolences to you.

I am 45 and lost my father when I was 24. I have a good friend who will be 70 in March that I absolutely love to play golf with. He is in great shape, but I know he will not be around forever. I cherish the fun we have and the good influence he has had on my life. May we all have friends to share great times with and long live them.
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#9 guisician

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:18 PM

Condolences and thank you for the wonderful reminiscences. It amazes me how golf gives us the opportunity to get even closer to very close friends and family, and in some way keep contact with them after they're gone. My best golf buddy Larry is also a musician who learned the game years ago from an older keyboardist who was a warm, funny, wonderful guy as well as a fine player of both music and golf. I only played a handful of times with the two of them but it was great to see their close "golf father-and-son" relationship. George's declining health limited his course time near the end, but he and Larry made the most of every second. These days, Larry often wears his old golf cap when we play Bethpage and it always makes me smile.
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#10 MrParr1Noid

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:27 PM

Awsi Dooger, a very touching synopses and a most loving tribute in describing the beginning to the inevitable end in your father's life.  Very touching.  I don't want to sound morose but I do feel the need for these discussions from the heart from time to time, sort of a kind of a cleansing of the soul.  .

Thanks to all who've expressed their sincere condolences .  :drinks:

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#11 idrive

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:23 PM

View PostBobtrumpet, on 09 January 2013 - 06:26 PM, said:

Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your friend.

My thoughts as well.

I'm 56 and the youngster of the group that I play with twice a week.  I have become very attached to these guys whom for
the most part I admire and respect and just plain enjoy being around.

This last year we lost two of our guys.  Initially I had been very upset and almost felt like I needed to distance myself so
as to not be affected by any additional losses.

Thankfully I've realized how selfish this is and to enjoy and take advantage of the time and times I have ahead with
these fellows and to cherish the memories.

#12 MrParr1Noid

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:02 PM

I've mostly played golf with the older crowd...and now I'm running out of older guys  ...I'm getting close to being / am there?... :o

:drinks:
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#13 Bucken77

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:43 PM

Sorry for your loss. It's always hard but the good memories will one day outlast the feeling of loss.
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#14 kevcarter

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 05:50 PM

I'm not  as eloquent as the others.  I'll just say I'm very sorry for your loss. :-(
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#15 MrParr1Noid

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:25 PM

View PostBucken77, on 12 January 2013 - 02:43 PM, said:

Sorry for your loss. It's always hard but the good memories will one day outlast the feeling of loss.

View Postkevcarter, on 12 January 2013 - 05:50 PM, said:

I'm not  as eloquent as the others.  I'll just say I'm very sorry for your loss. :-(

No problem guys, and I do appreciate your kind words or any words for that matter..   Eloquent?   Heck Kev, I'm about  as eloquent as a shagbag.   Since the beginning of time, there has always been a time when one has the need to get something off their chest or to let it all hang out, and I've decided this was my / the time.

I had contemplated whether or not I should even start a topic such as this...but  I did, and you guys have responded in a most respectful, and a  caring manner, you have been most thoughtful, and to you all,  I am most grateful.

:drinks:

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#16 MrParr1Noid

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:27 PM

Oh?  And welcome kevcarter... :friends:

p.s.  Just noticed... :yes:
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#17 kevcarter

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:36 AM

View PostMrParr1Noid, on 12 January 2013 - 11:27 PM, said:

Oh?  And welcome kevcarter... :friends:

p.s.  Just noticed... :yes:

Thank you Sir! I think it may be a bit premature though. I hope to be trained in soon...

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#18 Asleep

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

Sorry for your loss, Mac.

Friends like that, well, we're blessed to have them.
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#19 MrParr1Noid

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:30 PM

View PostAsleep, on 14 January 2013 - 02:54 PM, said:

Sorry for your loss, Mac.

Friends like that, well, we're blessed to have them.

Thanks Todd, and there were many that day who were feeling the loss.
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#20 Timanator

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 02:34 PM

Great topic Mac, sorry for your loss, and reminds me of my grandmother that just past.

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