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Just Too Late
By David Ritchie

I lost a really good friend last week. I was not at all prepared for it, so needless to say it really hit me hard. It was one of those too regular occasions, when I arrived just that little bit late. I knew something was wrong as soon as I entered the house. I rushed to the bedroom but paused at the door as I heard those unusual sounds. Preparing myself for the worst I opened the door and as soon as I entered the bedroom I knew I had arrived too late; life was quickly ebbing away.

There was nothing I could do. The feeling of helplessness and loss was overwhelming; it felt like a weight had descended upon me starting from my head through my whole body. I was in absolute shock as the realization of my loss dawned upon me. I had not been prepared for this.

Within seconds the "if only’s" started.

If only I had not rushed off so fast this morning.
If only I had made sure everything was ok before leaving for work.
If only I had come straight home after work, then I would have been in time.

The few minutes I spent talking to our neighbour would have made all the difference. But I was just too late and now I was filled with regret.

I cannot say our relationship was always brilliant, if fact at first it was quite rocky. I can well remember our first night together; I just could not wait for the others to leave, for I wanted us to be alone and get to know each other. Every time I looked at her, I felt she was beckoning me.

When we were finally alone, as usual I went that bit too far which ended in disaster. It took some time to overcome that first encounter, but slowly things improved and as time went on we began to understand each other much better.

The last few years have been tremendous. We had a great understanding of each other and things were going really well, which only adds to this sense of loss. It really feels terrible, and worse still, I keep hearing this voice in my head repeating the same words over and over again…

"It's your own fault, it's your own fault! You should have taken back-ups! Computers crash all the time."


Davy Ritchie is a 59 year old grandfather from Scotland who enjoys family, writing and church linked activities. He is presently arranging a short missions trip to the Philippines in October 2005. You can send "sympathy notes" to Davy via the Letters page of this magazine.
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