Sherlock, Willie, and Tom
All good things come to an end. I don’t where that proverb originated but it is often used when someone is trying to allay the sad feelings that come to us when we are seeing something or someone reach the end of their glory. The proverb is supposed to make easier the situation and bring us back to a reality of focus. We should have seen it coming, in other words.
They were playing the British Open and Tom Watson was saying goodbye to the event. Having won there five times, he certainly was deserving of tribute and, from all accounts, is a decent person as well as a respected golfer. He also won two Masters among his 35 tournament wins. Now, his days of winning big tournaments were ended and he was having his picture made and waving goodbye with tears in his eyes. All good things come to an end.
We went to a movie the other day.The movie was entitled “Mr. Holmes” and was supposed to depict the great fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, in his advanced years dealing with disappointment over a case he mishandled that led to his being dejected and caused him to decide to retire to his country estate. He was now wrestling with his failing memory and accusations from a Japanese gentleman who blamed Sherlock for his father’s having abandoned him and his mother. All while mentoring a young man who lived at his estate where his mother was housekeeper for Mr. Holmes. And, there were some bees involved.
I became a Sherlock Holmes fan 30+ years ago watching PBS. I later bought a book of the complete works of Conan Doyle and read the Sherlock Holmes stories with great enjoyment. I recorded a lot of those shows and have them on VHS. VHS was another good thing that came to an end. I do not care for the modernized versions of Sherlock Holmes that I see on TV today nor the Robert Downey movie versions. But I have seen the Hound of the Baskervilles more times than I can count. For a good Sherlock Holmes give me Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Britt, anytime.
In the case of Tom Watson, I was watching him ride off into the sunset live from 5000 miles away via television. As for Sherlock Holmes, I had never thought about his retirement years or old age decline. He was still sort of “out there”. He was always in suspended time, never changing. Now I have to reevaluate my image of him. I suppose if he were real, he would have gotten old and sooner or later, died.
I don’t know much about Willie Nelson’s golf ability but I am pretty certain he never played in the Masters or the British Open. However, he owns his own golf course near Austin, Texas. His course is called Pedernales Golf Club and he has a recording studio there. He has recorded a number of songs at that location , I understand.
I retired in 2007 after 39 years with the same company. I don’t really recommend that a person stay that long at any one place but if it works out that way, I guess that’s fine. The last morning I went to the office, I had the windows down on my truck and had the trucks disc player turned up kind of loud playing Willie Nelson’s “Nothing I Can Do about It Now”. My neighbor was in the yard and gave me a funny, double palms up, shrug as I went by. All good (and bad) things come to an end. When someone asked me about my retirement, since I looked to be in good health, I responded that it was a health issue: they were sick of me and I was sick of them.
Funny how you can leave a place you had worked 39 years and never set foot in the place again and never miss it. Life goes on. Nothing I can do about it now. All good things come to an end.
That brings me to the question: What would you do differently if you could do it all over? What if you could undo and redo everything that you had done with your life. What would you change?
When we consider such a notion, we immediately realize that changing the slightest thing in the beginning might result in significant changes in the end. Who you married affected the children you have now and, if you are old enough, the grandchildren. Changing that would erase all of those people you care about today as you now know them. The same could be said for school, especially if you met your spouse directly or indirectly through your school relations.
Your career has affected your income, where you live, and the friends you have. Maybe even your health. How did you end up in the job? What slight thing could have caused you to take a detour? In some cases it is as simple as a person sending a number of resumes and taking the only job that was offered to them. Not their dream job in their favorite location, but a job.
So while you might reflect on what might have been had you married that other person, you can’t look at your family and see them the same had you done so. There’s nothing you can do about it now. Sometimes class reunions are eye opening experiences to validate your original decision.
I was in a drift boat in Montana and asked the guy how he got into guiding for a living. His response was that he got fed up with being a dentist! Later someone gave me a book about a dentist who became a trout fishing guide and I wondered if the two were the same.
My former neighbor had started a software business and was making a half million dollars a year in his basement. He announced that he was selling his business to become a commercial pilot and he wanted to do Life Flight to help kids. He sold his business and got his commercial license. After about a year, he got flying out of his system and realized that the $30,000 per year he was making as an entry level pilot did not afford him the things that the half million a year from software did. So much for ideals.
As you, I, Sherlock, Tom, and Willie get toward the end of our sojourn here, who do we need to make amends with? Is there someone we owe an apology to? Some task left undone? Someone we owe a “thank you”.
Sherlock Holmes, in the movie, found a way to reconcile with the failure of his duty to his client. Not by solving their problem, since the lady had stood in front of a train, but by helping secure the future for his housekeeper and her son. He would not make the same mistake again. And, he tried to restore a rejected spirit by writing a letter with a fictitious ending to the Japanese guy whose father had abandoned him. In the movie they said his friend Watson had died without their saying their goodbyes.
Willie Nelson says in the song that he “has forgiven everything that forgiveness will allow”. Nothing he can do about it now.
We have enough mental baggage clinging to us that we can’t shake off without hanging on to more. Never being able to be content in the state we are in, as the Apostle Paul talked about, but always feeling like we are missing something. Never realizing that we had it pretty good.
But on September 28, 2007, as I drove to the office for the last time with some degree of apprehension, Willie’s song somehow seemed appropriate. There was nothing I could do about it now. And, all good things come to an end. But, also, life “ain’t over til it’s over”.
There may be one more good time, one more laugh, or one more interesting person to meet. I hope so. One more cast to a rising trout.And one more day to say I’m sorry, to atone for a failure, to say thank you, and I love you to someone I have missed. And to forgive everything that forgiveness will allow so that when we leave we will not have to check any bags and we won’t need a carryon.
© 2016 Sandy Point Times