I know when it is time to leave the Party

Raymond F Peters

I am not sure if this is what Raymond F Peters wants me to write but here goes.

I got a message from him this week saying he has “ retired “ from writing and his article about his 93 years was his “Swansong”.

He neglected to let me know this when he submitted it. Otherwise, I would have made some acknowledgement at the time.  However, as he said this morning, it was a decision made some days ago but only acted upon following the republication of his piece on Whaleoil yesterday.

As many of you know, all of the comments from yesterday were lost due to a glitch on the commenting system. Fortunately, I had kept a browser open and was able to take screenshots of all of the remarkable and heartfelt comments made by WO contributors… I have passed them on to Raymond.

Raymond wrote the following and I want to share them with you.  I have edited out bits that have nothing to do with his message to WO.

“Whaleoil is such a vibrant and genuine community of decent people. Truly. In a world so preoccupied with self, selfies, self-indulgence and self-interest, I could not believe the outpouring of honesty and generosity of spirit that I had the privilege of reading yesterday.

“I could not help but be overwhelmed by the birthday gifts I received on my 93rd. From complete strangers. But they ceased to be nameless figures who read an article written by an old bloke admitting his loss of youth. They became REAL to me. Real people. Real Friends. What presents  I unwrapped, every time I read a new comment! It made me feel so bloody good!

“How could I ever beat that?

“So, I have decided to do what politicians, newsreaders and so-called Hollywood actors fail to do. Get out while the going is good.

“Thank you for letting me speak my mind and my thoughts. Thank you for listening to me.

“Sometimes, I feel like an old car that has travelled a million miles and has had regular service checks and the gear box removed and replaced from time to time.

“But my body shape is just so old fashioned and my petrol consumption and gas emissions are no longer socially acceptable. Fortunately, the people on Whaleoil taught me that they don’t care about a good looking sportscar. They still rather like a good truck that can still get from A to B, even if it takes a bit longer and needs a nudge up a steep hill every now and again.

“I think I would prefer to be parked in a museum somewhere and admired, given a shine every now and again and wheeled out to be admired every Anzac Day or D Day. I don’t want to be some old relic who doesn’t know  When the party is over and when it is time to leave.

“I had a good party and, last night, thanks to WO, I had more friends and family around me than ever before. But it is time to leave and bid a fond farewell.

“Could you please pass on my thanks to Whaleoil for sharing my stories and what I hope is wisdom?

“If just one person wakes up and sees that old people are worth listening to and learning from, then I have done a good thing.

“Thank you so much.”

Raymond F Peters.

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