This story came to me recently.I sure hope you like it.
I could lie here forever, listen to the falling rain
I didn't think I would ever get touched this way again
Until you came, you smiled at me and rolled away the years
Back to a place there was time enough to love, love enough to give
You give me that old time feeling
You give me that old time feeling
We'll find a better place, a feeling that we can't erase
The rainbows that we chased will never end
We're coming close again
When your love let's me in
I don't know where I stop and you begin
You give me that old time feeling
Old Time Feeling
It was pretty nice outside for the first week in February, Judge Hardcastle thought as he got out of bed. looking out the window, he began thinking of his family whom he had lost over the years.
First had been the loss of his parents years ago. Then, later on in life, Judge Hardcastle and his wife Nancy had lost a son in Vietnam. More memories came to him in a rush. Looking out the window at the grounds, the judge remembered all the joy it gave his wife to plant flowers and take care of the rest of the grounds outside. It suddenly brought a bit of a smile to his face. After a few minutes, he finally decided it was time to go down stairs and get some breakfast. Hardcastle knew that McCormick would be coming in soon for breakfast as well. Milt poured himself a cup of coffee, then decided he really wasn't all that hungry so he just made himself a couple slices of toast.
Five minutes after he had eaten his toast, Mark McCormick walked through the kitchen door. "Good morning judge. It's kind of a nice day out, wanna shoot some hoops?"
Milt looked at Mark and said "No, go on though, have fun."
Mark stood there with a disappointed look on his face. "Well, I really wasn't in the mood anyway."
The judge got up from the table and said "I'll be in the den McCormick." Then he headed in that decided that after he ate breakfast he would clean up and wash the dishes. Then he decided that since the judge wasn't in the mood to shoot any hoops, he would just head back over to the gatehouse and get his working clothes on.
Later on at lunch, Hardcastle was barely eating at all. He was still thinking of his losses, especially his wife of 27 years, Nancy.
A few hours later, Mark went in to the den and found Milt sitting at his desk, just staring at the picture of his late wife. Mark saw the sadness on his face but he knew better than to ask. After all he knew the judge's private life was off limits to anyone, even him. Mark stood there and just watched for a few minutes before quietly leaving the room.
Ten minutes later, Mark re-entered the room, humming a sprightly tune as he entered.
Milt turned around as Mark came in. "Will ya knock that noise off McCormick? You're gonna make me go crazy."
McCormick said "Well, I hate to tell you this Hardcase, but you already are crazy."
Milt just sat there and looked at McCormick but said nothing. Mark just stood there for a few more seconds then he turned around and walked out of the den and closed the door behind him.
An hour later, Milt was still sitting there, continuing to look at his wife's picture. Milt said "I miss you so much Nancy You were the first and only love of my life." Milt went on to say, "I wish you were still here so very much."
Milt got up from his chair. He had decided it was time to go to the cemetary to his wife's grave.
Milt got in his GMC truck and he started it up and began driving for a while. He then decided to turn on the radio. As he was flipping through radio stations, one song in particular brought back some memories to him of him and his wife and he pulled the truck over to listen, although he was never a fan of country music, or of Johnny Cash for that matter.
Milt sat there in the truck allowing more and more thoughts to come pouring just sat there for a few seconds after the song was over, then shut off the radio altogether. Finally, he started the truck back up and continued to the cemetary. Parking the truck, he walked over to their graves, sat on the ground, and began to talk to them. He talked about his life now, friends that still remembered Nancy, and his new friend Mark.
While sitting there and talking to his wife and son, something suddenly came to his mind. He realized why all these memories were right there. Milt said to himself "Oh yea, I see what you are trying to remind me of. Your birthday is coming up here soon." " Out loud he said "Nancy, I know it's your birthday here in a few days. I could never forget, you know that." Milt stayed there for a while longer, then he stood up and said "Nancy, honey, I'm gonna go now. I'll be back in a few days."
Milt then got back in his truck and headed for home.
Back at the estate, Mark knew something was up with the judge because he was acting very distant. After seeing him sitting so quietly and looking at his wife's picture for so long, McCormick was beginning to worry about his mentor. He finally came out of his thoughts when he heard the truck pull up the drive.
The judge walked in a few minutes later and said "Hey kiddo, what's for dinner?"
McCormick answered "Well judge, I thought I would put some steaks on the grill and we would have baked potatoes and mixed vegetables and banana pudding."
Milt nodded and said "Yea, ok McCormick that will do fine."
Later that evening after dinner, Mark walked in the den and asked "Judge, any John Wayne on tonight?" because he knew if the judge passed that up there really was something wrong.
Milt looked at him and said in a gruff tone "Yea, McCormick there is a double feature on in ten minutes. Riders of Destiny and The Star Packer."
Mark said "Are we watching them tonight, Judge?"
Milt said "Yes of course we are McCormick. Are you crazy?"
Mark grinned, "Great, I'll go get the popcorn."
After the movies were over, Mark said "Judge it's getting kinda late. If it's alright with you, I think I'll stay here tonight."
Milt looked at him and said "Sure Kiddo, go ahead."
Mark went up to bed thinking that the judge seemed ok, now he was finally acting at least a bit like himself any way. Mark went to sleep, glad things were getting better.
Then, a few days later it all started again.
It was February tenth and Mark walked in the house for breakfast early that morning and didn't see the judge, so he looked outside and saw no truck in sight either. Mark decided breakfast could wait and he would just go over to the gatehouse and hop in the shower. After getting dressed, he headed back to the main house.
When he walked out of the gatehouse he noticed the truck parked in it's usual spot. Mark walked in the kitchen door and started to make sunny side up eggs and bacon, toast and thought the judge would like that.
When the food was ready, Mark headed towards the den and was going to knock on the door until he heard the judge talking. He thought the judge was on the
phone, so he walked back in to the kitchen.
Mark waited for a minute or two before heading toward the den door again. He heard Hardcastle still talking so he decided to just call out to the judge to let him know breakfast was ready. "Hey judge breakfast is ready, come and get it."
As Mark walked back to the kitchen he heard Milt say "Keep your shirt on, I'm comin."
After Milt was seated at the table, McCormick began speaking, "Judge, I made sunny side up eggs today and with that there is bacon, toast, and coffee. I thought maybe we'd eat on the patio for breakfast."
Milt said, "Nah McCormick, this is fine right here."
Mark shrugged, "ok, fine with me Judge." They didn't do anymore talking, just ate in silence, but Mark watched the judge without him realizing it. After breakfast Judge Hardcastle went back to his den.
Mark got all the breakfast dishes done before he went outside and did a few chores. When he finshed, he started thinking about asking the judge if he wanted to play basketball. Mark went in the house and called for the judge, to see if he could persuade Hardcastle to come out and play.
The judge tried to say gruffly, "No McCormick. Go find something to do, I'm busy." The comment fell flat though.
Mark knew things were not right with Hardcastle but he said, "Ok judge. I'll be outside if you change your mind." That got no reply back.
An hour later, Mark came in again and saw the den door half way open. He heard the judge talking again. He heard Milt saying "Nancy, I think of you every day. I miss you so very much." Mark walked in and he saw the judge was looking in the direction of the mantle at his wife's picture. He stood there for a seconds, quietly then he cleared his voice.
The judge didn't even turn around, but he spoke and in a low voice he said "I miss her so much. This would've been her birthday today, Kiddo."
Mark walked into the den and said "I didn't know judge. I'm sorry." Mark knew this subject was usually off limits. It was the judge's private life but he went over to Hardcastle anyway and put his hand on the judge's shoulder, "Judge, I know you are gonna tell me to mind my own business but I have to say this one thing. I know this is hard for you to talk about with anyone especially with me but, if you wanna talk you can talk to me. It might help."
Mark turned to leave but stopped when he heard the judge clear his throat like he was getting ready to speak. He turned back around and sat in his favorite chair and waited for the judge to begin.
"She was a lovely lady, McCormick. Remember I told you how my wife and I met?"
Mark said quietly "Yea judge, I remember."
"I still hear her voice when I'm screwing up. You would've liked her, McCormick. Nancy would've liked you too. You know after she died I knew there would never be another for me. " Hardcastle picked up another photo and gazed at it. "I remember one time Nancy and I talked about one of us being left alone to carry on when the other was gone. I used to tell her if it was me who went first that I wanted her to find someone else. That I never wanted her to be alone. I wanted her to find love again. Nancy told me that if I died before her that she would never want another. That there was no one else for her. I tried to convince her otherwise but it didn't work."
Milt went on. "Sometimes I would bump in to some old friends of ours while in a department store or grocery store and we'd be talking about their families and other things. Sometimes I would forget for one brief moment and think oh wait till I get home and tell Nancy who I just ran into. Then I would pull in the drive here and realize she's gone. I can never share things with her anymore. I heard a song on the radio that just made me keep thinking of her and the life we shared."
Milt suddenly put his hand out and handed McCormick a picture to look at of Milt and Nancy with their son Tommy on vacation when Tommy was 4 years old.
Mark looked at it and smiled at what a nice couple they made and how sweet their family picture truly was.
Milt glanced at the time. He clapped his hands and said in a more gruff tone "John Wayne will be on soon. Let's get the popcorn." Mark looked at the judge with a smile on his face, realizing his friend was slowly but surely getting back to his old self.
Milt walked in the kitchen and rounded up the popcorn and beer for the John Wayne double feature. Mark suddenly had a thought. He got up from his chair and headed into the kitchen. Stopping by the door, he spoke, "Uh, Judge?"
The judge looked around at him, "Yea, McCormick?"
McCormick hesitated for a minute then he continued talking,"I was just thinking, since it's your wife's birthday I uh... " He trailed off and just looked at the judge, not knowing how to continue.
Milt said "Whatever you have to say, just say it."
Mark continued, "Well judge, it's just that I thought if you want to, I know where a few twinkies are. I thought maybe we could light some candles and put them on a twinkie to remember her in honor of her birthday."
Milt smiled and said "Sure McCormick. She would've appreciated it."
Mark said "Great! I'll get the twinkies and candles and matches." They both lit the candles in rememberance and to honor Nancy Hardcastle. They blew them
out after a moment of silence for her.
They settled down minutes later to the John Wayne double feature The Alamo and True Grit. Milt started thinking how lucky he really was and that he would never be alone with all his friends in his life, especially with Mark McCormick around.