I don't remember our first meeting, I just know his family is ingrained in so many of my memories.
I met him when I was six. My Daddy had just taken his first pastorate and we had moved to a new town. His family, along with his grandparents, aunts and uncles all attended our church.
I can close my eyes and I am there. I can see the sparkly ceiling of his grandparents house.
Yes, sparkly ceiling. I was six. You notice things like sparkly ceilings. :)
There is a globe, a big wooden globe, only it's not a globe you open it to find a bar service! (woo...a bar service was quite the sight for a Baptist six year old)
I can see them sitting around the round kitchen table.
There is coffee, always coffee.
like bar level-they may have all been going to heaven, but they smoked like hell. :)
I can hear a rumbly voice singing, "Somebody Prayed For Me."
I can hear them, laughing.
Among this cluster there are children and grandchildren a plenty, my brothers and I fell right into the mix.
Sunday nights after church found us there playing...
elaborate games of baseball in a standard sized hallway, complete with bases.
He was quite
a towhead among brothers that all sported hair the color of chocolate, green eyes to their brown.
A sprinkling of freckles.
This quite boy, was the first boy I kissed. In a field playing after school. I remember it a million years later because when you are six, kisses are new. Especially kisses that aren't tainted with life's troubles and expectations. That kiss, that peck-sweetness indeed.
[however, I would be remiss if I didn't share that after sharing that kiss his older brother ,a hustler even then ,threatened to tell my Daddy I had kissed his brother if I didn't also give him a kiss! Oh my! What was I supposed to do? Well two kisses in one day of course. *grins*]
We left that church, but those people never left our lives. Several years later we moved back to that area and again the tradition of integrating our lives continued. More so, that go round, because the parsonage was in disrepair and we ended up living with his grandparents for a bit.
This time around I was in sixth grade and there was no crush, he was simply my friend -- but he did something for me one day, that set a precedence. He made me believe in the whole knight in shining armor.
We went to the same school, but didn't have the same teacher. However, before school each day we had to sit in a line on the gym floor. This particular morning, a boy was being mean to me, he said something ugly. I sat there and then I heard him. He had walked up from behind as the kid was saying his deal. He simply said, ''hey you better leave her alone, she's my preacher's daughter.''
That was it, there was no fanfare, I mean we were in sixth grade. He did it though, he stood up for me. He made me feel special. Worth fighting for...
to say he was athletically gifted would be an understatement.
What others strive to be, what they practice to attain, seemingly just flowed from him.
had the eye of coaches and scouts,
at one of his baseball games, his senior year, he had more than 20 scouts there, just watching, him...
and not once
had professional teams pursuing him.
kissed with talent.
I found out recently that he walked out of rehab
A man that literally had a life pregnant with possibility before him...
lives like a man that has no potential.
A life that was kissed with promise,
now has the litter of failed marriages and children with a Daddy that could have been...
Somewhere along the way, he believed the lie.
He believed he wasn't enough on his own.
He began, maybe in innocent experimentation, filling a hole that only God can fill.
Now, it holds him. Mocks him. Makes a fool of him.
Makes him a disappointment to those that love him most.
Makes him a liar
It makes him a form of a man...but depleted of all that makes up a man.
Somewhere along the way, he fell for the idea that it was worth it.
That loving it was more important than loving his family,
Chasing the feeling, only to be left in the dust of addiction.
If I close my eyes, years erase and I am back there...
we are kids again,
he's talking to me with that slight lisp, grinning...
We're sitting there in the gym, only this time I'm telling the bully ''hey you better leave him alone, that's my Daddy's kid.''
Will you pray for my friend?
I would be forever grateful.