With the passing of time, memories become ghosts. They lurk in calendars. They live in photo albums. They rattle their chains in the details of stories told.
But are they real?
As my 35th birthday approached, I heard the rattle of chains in the distance. I began keeping the lights on in hopes that the date would pass without any of my ghosts making a cameo appearance.
I didn't do a very good job, however.
Today, my ghosts are many, and they are real.
Eleven year old boys aren't supposed to see their own names on tombstones, but that's the risk that comes with being a jr.
My early childhood was a dual existence in two cities with two sets of parents. Weekdays, my two sisters and I lived with our mother and step-father in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Each Friday, our step-mother would drive three hours round-trip to pick us up. We'd spend the weekends in Allentown with her and our father before heading back to Scranton.
Fridays were happy days. Sundays were not.
Sundays looked like this:
In many ways, I've been living a life of Sundays ever since. With each marvelous hug-filled hello has come a teary goodbye.
And then, another ghost rattles chains in stories to be told.
I talk about traveling to China but rarely mention the woman I travelled with.
Where's the old radio friend I helped find job after job? Her career is going well now. My phone hasn't rung in years.
I've had friends who thought I was an orphan because I never talked about my family at all. I intentionally lost touch with my family many years ago.
It's not the people - it's the memories. They are the ghosts that haunt me. I'd like to say I'd send them away if only I knew how, but really, I wouldn't.
I am, after all, the king of the silver lining... so here it comes.
Without my father, I might not know the true cost of poor decisions. In the end, his cost him his life.
Without that radio buddy I helped to find job after job, I might not know the effect one person can have on another. I gave without ever expecting anything in return, and though I could say I got nothing in return, it would be a lie. I got the satisfaction of helping someone I believed in achieve more than she'd ever dreamed of. And that's beautiful.
I can live with the ghosts.
But I struggle with the Sundays.
I've had enough endings to last a lifetime.
Anyone who isn't touched by the truths within this post is lying.::::: | May 27, 2006 8:22 AM
I'm sorry I'm a bit behind. But, wow!::::: | June 2, 2006 12:07 PM