Thursday, December 20, 2012

Remembering the good times- RIP to my cousin MIchael

It's funny how when you're a kid, a day can last forever. Now, all these years seem just like a blink-

Hearts in Atlantis

“When you finally go back to your old hometown, you find it wasn't the old home you missed but your childhood

Sam Ewing

I woke up today in a very sentimental mood. Something about being home and seeing so many old familiar faces wakes up a kind of nostalgia, which is rare for me because I am more of a “present” oriented person.

I started the day at my grandpa’s old farm, pictured here-

I had so many good times here as a kid, and for years I had a recurring dream about returning. I even featured it in a book I wrote called The Empath. It’s funny seeing it now. What’s left of it anyway. A whole childhood of memories and now it’s just a rundown old barn. I wonder if the current owners ever think about the history of the place. If they knew what a pleasure it was for my brothers and sister and I to play in there and feed the animals, and look out into the almost endless backyard and watch the sunset. Probably not. That was our time, and now it’s their time. Still, every house has a million stories. This one certainly did.

As I was sitting here thinking about these things, I got a text from my mother, telling me my cousin had died. I was shocked. Although he had been sick for a long time, he was a young man. Younger than me even, and it didn’t seem possible. People from my generation aren’t supposed to die. Not yet anyway. I found myself angry at the randomness of it. It just seemed kind of unfair. Eventually my feelings drifted from anger to sadness, and I cried some tears for my cousin Michael. We had a lot of fun growing up when I saw him, and I wanted to try and remember that.

So I found myself driving to my other grandparent’s home, where he and I and my family had spent the most amount of time with him, pictured here.

It seemed so big growing up, and now it just looked like a little house on a little street. I could see a Christmas tree in the window, and guessed that a family probably lived there now. I probably looked pretty strange just sitting there parked in front of their house with tears in my eyes, but I wanted to remember. Remember the good times, and the trouble we used to get into and the many, many Christmases I spent here growing up. I wanted to go back again, to be young, and dumb, and free from my responsibilities and bills and worries. But mostly I wanted to go back so I could see my cousin Michael again.

Eventually I had to start the car and move, as a strange man sitting parked probably looks a little odd to people. They didn’t know.  We never really know. We pass by people and nod and smile and wave, but we don’t really know how their day has been. What their pain is, and what it is they might be struggling with.

Mostly I think about how my cousin could possibly be gone. The last time I saw him he was a kid, and now he had three kids of his own. I hoped that they knew that fun guy I used to know as a kid. That they laughed a lot and made a lot of memories and that he taught them some things that they would pass on to children of their own. That’s all life really is in the end. A lot of little days, and moments, and memories, that somehow in the end all adds up to a lifetime.

It goes too fast.

At least it did for my cousin Michael. I do believe there is a kind of our immortality in our shared memories however. We pass these little moments down from generation to generation, and do our best to remember. For me today it was about remembering the good times with my cousin. Rest in peace my friend.