A cool wisp of air brushed against my neck as I walked the last block on my nightly habit of hiking around the neighborhood before dark. My trusted companion Sam, the golden retriever, was panting heavy as we turned into the driveway and made our way to the restfulness of the porch rockers.
I let Sam go on ahead of me into the house; I knew he needed some water and a bite of supper. I on the other hand was in no hurry to end tonight’s adventure and decided to sit, rock, and reflect on past seasons. I began to think back on the years of my childhood and the changes I had witnessed. Changes in my life brought about by misguided decisions, disease, and sometimes just the luck of the draw we all face each day. I thought about how truly blessed my life had been, how when I needed help the most, the good lord had seen my need and pulled me through.
There had been a time in my life when I would have needed a co-signer and a loan to buy a Pepsi. I have known days of Government spam, cheese, peanut butter, and food stamps. You get dependent on handouts when there is no money for a car, your life is controlled by the schedule of the city bus, and employment is determined by the ability to arrive with nerves intact after another night of one catastrophe or another.
My father was a hard working, God fearing, family man. He was also an alcoholic. I was seventeen and running away from home by joining the United States Air Force.
Time moves on and changes come and go. People in your life you consider rock solid become just wisps of a memory. We grow, we evolve, we learn, and soon if we are truly blessed and work hard we settle into a life pattern of love and support and responsibility. We raise our children, we pay our rent.
Before we are ready we find ourselves being told that because of age, health, or policy we can no longer continue showing up to work each day. We join the retired club, the leisure group. We find ourselves after a brisk walk around the neighborhood at dusk one night sitting and rocking and reflecting. I had just a soon put off as long as possible the next step on this narrative, but I know it will come as sure as grass grows, and wind blows, and the best thing is to do our best each day. We will all meet the good Lord when he is ready for us. I just hope they have as comfortable a porch rocker as I have grown accustomed to here.
I’ll be right back, one more time.