I’m Sorry, I’m Busy Right Now

George Johnson back in 2002 during a Super Bowl party. Photo courtesy of Jack Quinn

We live in Friendly Valley, and were friends of an older couple who lived about a half-mile west of us in the residential community of Scenic Hills. The fellow, who was named George Johnson, had many serious ailments. On a few occasions I drove him to his doctor’s office at UCLA – an unpleasant drive because of the heavy traffic that always prevails on the 405 Freeway. My wife often cooked meals for him and his wife. George particularly loved the bread pudding that my wife would often make – mainly for him. She would cook the meal and then put it in one of the many baskets that she has, and I would deliver it to the couple.

One afternoon, when I seemed to be particularly busy – doing what seemed terribly important to me at the time – I made the delivery to George and his wife. I carried the basket out to their kitchen, and then stopped in their living room to say “hello” to George. He was sitting in his recliner chair, and was happy to see me. He said, “Jack, sit down and stay for awhile and talk with me”. I replied, “George, I would love to do that, but I am really busy this afternoon, and have to keep on the move – I have a lot of things to get done.” George replied, “OK Jack, we will talk next time you come”.

But, there was no “next time.” George passed away a couple of days later. How I wish that I had taken the time that afternoon to sit down and talk with George – for even fifteen minutes.



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