A peom that traces the ups and downs of my life, year by year.
YEAR BY YEAR
The first one I remember, not so long ago, I was a little boy all bundled up, protected from the snow. The kitchen smelled like chocolate cake, my friends were at the door of our little house in Oregon, the day it snowed and I turned four. We didn’t have a lot of things, but we wanted all we had. What more could I have asked for but a loving mom and dad?
My thoughts and dreams go back to then and echo in my mind, so vivid in their wonder, so precious in their time. Me and Darryl wild and free, like it was yesterday, and daddy always went to work, while momma let us play. We lived and loved and left a mark upon that little town. Everything was smiles back then, we never wore a frown.
Another minute passing by, a minute gone away. Another one I can’t take back, or spend another day. As fantastic as it was for me, it was all I’d ever known. So safe and warm and full of love, that place that I called home. I know I can’t go back to then, and even if I could, with all the gifts He’s given me, I just don’t think I would.
When I was five, we moved away, once more when I was ten. I was short and fat and quiet, I had trouble making friends. So much had changed for me in such a very little while, I never thought that I’d fit in, I’m sure I never smiled. Kids are mean at that young age, and they savaged me with mirth. They never saw into my heart, they just mocked me for my girth. I wonder if they look back now and regret the things they did? The man in me forgives them what they put upon that kid.
When I was twelve we moved again, with no complaints from me. I’d grown a foot and lost some weight, the swan in me set free. I played some ball cuz I was tall and found that I fit in, at a school out in the country where my heart has been since then.
Why do I identify with the little time spent there? Just a couple years of life that could have happened anywhere? Perhaps because it was the place I grew into my skin? Now I know it matters not if I am fat or thin, but how I live and love and share the gifts that lie within. That’s a lesson taught to me by someone I once loved, and how I oft remember falling, though I wish that I’d been shoved.
The two lane roads and Douglas fir gave hope to that young man, who was always going somewhere fast, but never had a plan. The highway led to freedom and the city called to me, there would be no college, love so lost, so the pavement set me free. I went away not looking back and faced a bitter world, finding more than I had bargained for in the arms of a young, blonde girl. Everything I hoped for, everything I dreamed, nothing ever turns out quite the way it seems.
At nineteen years I was a king, at twenty such a bore. By twenty-one I’d lost my hair, it didn’t matter anymore. At twenty-two I was alone, again at twenty-four; an empty house awaited me, at twenty-eight once more. Somewhere back along the way I made the wrong damned turn, and spent ten years of my bitter life slowly getting burned.
But not all the pages written in that chapter of my life could be blamed upon the infidelity of a narcissistic wife. I could have been and done the things to make it all work right, and rose to the occasion to become her shining knight. Looking back from where I am to the dreary days back then, I’m glad I didn’t waste my time, it’s much better where I’ve been.
By thirty years I had a home, and a job or two or three. No one else was paying bills or washing clothes, and all I had was me. I tried so hard to stand up tall, a lonely man about to fall, so big and tall and yet so small, I bitterly thought I’d lost it all. Somewhere out there lived a girl who meant the world to me, and if I held on long enough, maybe I would see?
Sure enough, by thirty-one, while I was playing, having fun, an angel found me, short and sweet, it wasn’t long before we’d meet. The day was warm and time stood still, the first kiss blossomed, such a thrill. Before I knew it we were wed, the best day of my life, and the best thing I have ever done was take an angel for a wife.
There have been some ups and downs, moments I’d take back, and things I wish came easier to keep us both on track. But I have faith in her and I, and love that knows no bounds. I’d sell my soul to buy her cheerios, as crazy as that sounds.
So here I am at forty just a single grain of sand, slowly sinking downward through the hourglass of man. As depressing as that sounds it is important here to note that I’m the grain on top!! and that I’m filled with hope.
While there are things I’d take back now, to change the world for me, I’m wise enough to understand how foolish that would be. I am the man I’ve grown to be because of those mistakes. Those bitter lessons temper me and help me hit the brakes. They slow me down to think ahead and see the way things are, to enjoy the laughs and feel the love that makes us who we are.
When I visit here again, forty-one I’ll be. I wonder if I’ll recognize the man I thought was me?
With Special Thanks To vince for the wonderful formatting