When I was young, I swore I would never grow old.
I made a promise to myself that I would never be like them.
I said this with an emphasis on the word, “Them:” to define my contempt.
I never wanted to grow old or forget myself.
I never wanted to be lost in the land of status whores
Or lost to my own contempt or lost to my resentment as a result of my insecurity. I swore, I wanted to be strong, if not stronger.
I swore that I would never be that way or lose myself like people so often do in the adult world.
I swore I would be this way forever, unstoppable, enduring, and unwavering.
I swore I would be me until the day I die, which I am and always will be; only, I never knew that I would change, which I have and always will be.
I never wanted to grow so old that I never knew what it mean to laugh or scream at the top of my lungs (just because) and howl at the moon until dawn comes.
I never wanted to be common or commonplace or conform and become like “Them.”
I say like “Them,” as in “They, as in “Those people,” as in those who’ve forgotten what it feels like to live fast or live out loud and be free.
When I was young, I swore I would never be sick. I would never be poor.
I would never be weak or feel weak; as in the way people weaken or be brought to my knees.
I thought I knew better.
I swear I did.
I knew it
I knew it all.
And maybe I did know it all but of all things I knew, I never knew the value of time.
And why would I?
Tomorrow will be here soon enough, right?
Isn’t there always a tomorrow?
Why would I be worried about the days of my life when they seem endless? There should always be a tomorrow.
There should be a plethora of tomorrows.
I never thought anyone would move away or leave or die.
I never thought I would find myself, older, or vulnerable, and thinking about the terms of life and the terms of mortality.
I looked passed so many things. I overlooked moments which became memories of people, like my Grandmother for example, and her white hair, her soft hands, and gentle skin.
It is said that in the last hour, our life will pass before our eyes. If this is true, then I can say that whatever passes through, I want this to be the sights I see.
I want to see my in my room as a young boy. I want to see me before the anxiety came in. I want to see me when my room was still innocent and you, Mom and The Old Man, and the dogs I had over the years, happy as ever, and excited to see me.
I want to see my cousin Robbie. I want to see a bus that Robbie told me about from one of his last few dreams.
He said he dreamt of a bus that was driven by my Father. And Gram was there and Grandpa were there. He said The Old Man told him, “Don’t worry. Everything is going to be fine.” He said The Old Man told him, “When you’re ready, I’ll come and you can get on the bus with us.”
Robbie was sick. He had cancer. He was tired and uncomfortable. I was younger then. I promised myself that I would never get that sick. I swore I would never get old. I swore I would never feel weak.
I was there when Robbie told his Father, my Uncle Alan, “I think I’m gonna go get on that bus now.”
Uncle Alan understood.
Robbie said, “But don’t worry. Uncle Ronny said he was gonna come get me and everything is gonna be okay.
Robbie died later that day.
I never forgot this. If I am to grow old and I am to weaken; if I am to face the end and if all will flash before my eyes; I pray with all my heart to The Great Almighty that a dream comes to comfort me and bus will come to pick me up.
I swear, I never thought I would ever grow old.
The funny thing is back when I was a kid, I was in such a hurry to grow up. And here I am now, grown up, and wondering whatever happened to that thing we call “Purity.”
Last night, I was moved by a piece of writing about a boy and his stuffed tiger. I have a little stuffed tiger on my desk too. He never left me. His name is Tuffy. He has always been with me and thank God, Tuffy will always be with me.
He was there when I was a sick little boy. He was there for me when I found him, out of nowhere during a lonely time in my life. And he was there when Mom died. He wept with me, He gave me permission to cry and told me, “Go ahead, kid. There’s nobody here but us.”
“Don’t worry kid, no one’s lookin.”
I ever tell you about my imaginary friend?
His name was Abbie [ pronounced: Ay -bee]
I knew him when I was only two years-old.
He was there to take the blame for me when I was in trouble.
He was there to play with my matchbox cars and my army men,
Not sure where Abbie is now though.
I suppose he’s out there playing with some other little boy.
One day, I know I will have to take my last few breaths before I go to stand before my creator. And when that day comes, I hope Abbie comes around to say, “It’s good to see you old friend. “
He’d tell me, “Don’t be afraid, there’s a bus coming your way, and shortly, you will be with all of them in paradise.”
The last few days have been hard on me.
I could use a sign
Send Abbie if you can
It would be nice to see him in good health
Tell Mom I said Hi and that I’m doing well
You should have seen me last week, Pop
I think you might have been proud.
At least, God, I hope so