I’ve lived long enough to know the world’s events through the 60′s, 70′s, 80′s, 90′s, 2000′s, and through the writing of this blog posting.
I have known what it’s like to have nothing. I have known the benefits of hard work and 90+ hour workweek. I have known the wisdom of the elderly. The compassion of a friend. And the love of a great woman.
Of all the life lessons none compare to the memories of hearing that you (in this case I) am going to be a Father. Going to all of the OBGYN appointments. Waiting for the first kick/movement. Praying that the Mother and the child will be safe…and healthy. Being there when the baby is born and cutting the cord that bound it physically to it’s Mother. Holding the newborn in my arms while giving thanks go God. I have always put my hopes, dreams, and prayers into each of my children. I will never stop.
I’ve lived long enough to know that life isn’t fair. That bad things happen to good people. That a man is responsible for his actions, inactions, and his works. I learn new things routinely and I carry with me the burden(s) of regrets. I have had to face so much and the mistakes I have made…I’ll never make again.
I’ve lived long enough to lose a sister. A grandparent. A friend. And many others who I respected and cared about.
I’ve also lived long enough to know that the truth doesn’t always come out. That the government doesn’t always work. That relatives can let you down. That those you love can discard you. That people in positions of power are not always objective. That money (sadly) can buy influence…and more.
I’ve lived long enough to see seasons change. To see populations shift. To see the benefits of good Presidents and the senselessness of others.
I’ve lived long enough to have enjoyed snowfalls. The beauty of the leaves changing. The smell of fresh cut grass. The warmth of the sunlight. The breeze on a spring night. The stars arranged in the heavens proudly on display.
I’ve lived long enough to have ups and downs in my weight. In my life.
I’ve lived long enough to accept that (perhaps) I am meant to grow old alone.
I’ve lived long enough to know that a man has; his name, his word, and his reputation and that, when necessary, these are the things (along with family and loved ones and the innocent and those without) are worth fighting for.
I’ve lived long enough to see time. Time that goes by in days that lead into decades. Time that changes a man from within…and on the outside.
I’ve lived long enough to know failure. To know success. To know how much a true friend means. To know the heart break of losing the love of my life. The harsh reality that ones’ best days are behind and the remaining days are far fewer than those that have past.
I’ve lived long enough to be exhausted. To be sad. To be depressed. To be without. To read words written that are blatantly false and hurtful. Words, like memories and burdens, can cause the harshest wounds. Wounds that cannot heal on their own.
The summary of all of these things is that…I’ve lived long enough