Wayne Michael DeHart (February, 1996)
I have had few good days of late.
At age 47, I have discovered that my dreams will not be realized.
Such discovery was not sudden. I have known for some time that I have been losing control of my life. Those around me define it as simply a mid-life crisis, an awakening of sorts, to the debilitating effects of time and spent emotion. This categorization of my condition is not accurate. I wish it were that simple, but it is not. Nothing is simple when you’re tired and alone at age 47. Tired and alone and beaten down by too many bad days.
So often I’ve heard people say they would decline an opportunity for a “do over”, to be able to go back in time and live their life over again.
To accept that opportunity would be to reject one’s past and present. Such rejection would be an admission of dissatisfaction, of poor choices, of failure. It would be a sign of weakness of mind and spirit. It would betray family and friends, It would be indefensible and unacceptable. It would strain the soul and hurt the heart.
I, however, would indeed go back again. Without hesitation or trepidation. And I would do a thousand things differently.
Or maybe just one thing.
I would have seeded and nurtured friendships. My privacy and independence are false treasures I have guarded too closely through the years. To a fault, and to an obsession. Consequently, as I grew older (though upon reflection not wiser), I spent more and more time speculating, imagining, daydreaming, fantasizing – always sure that there would eventually be time for fulfillment of every wish, every goal, every aspiration.
Time moves slowly for the young – a blessing unrecognized by those who count the days until they reached milestones of age 12, then 16, then 18, and finally 21. Milestones of graduation, marriage, parenthood and the meaning of life.
I counted those days. Such a fool. I want them back. Each of them. All of them.
I would stop dreaming, and start living.
But now it’s too late for me, so I’ll settle for a wish fulfilled. For a friend – one that will help make tomorrow a good day.
A friend that will care for me and about me. One that will be glad that I’m here, and will notice when I’m not. One that will leave purple and yellow flowers at my marker.
One that is real – in a world where nothing else is.