By Chick Pritchard

A friend of mine died recently.

He had served his country as a soldier.

He had been a wonderful husband and a tremendous father. He raised seven children to be good people.

He had been a police officer, serving honorably and proud.

He had become a mentor for me, for the last 31 years.

His last years were filled with pain and hospitals, hurts, and indignities. Sometimes there were nursing home stays for rehabilitation after surgeries.

As I spoke with him for what would be my last conversation, I quietly thanked him, with tears streaming down my face, for being such a good man and great example to me.

He looked at me, he smiled and whispered, “I have tried.”

What a challenge to each one of us as we face the obstacles that life can place along our own varied ways… to answer at the end of our days, “I have tried…”