This morning while sipping my coffee I glanced at my iPhone and saw that today was June 8th. It took a few moments before I realized that I had let Charlie’s birthday pass me by without a tear. On Sunday June 2nd, Charlie would have been 42. I still find myself looking up and asking “Why?” Why, did you have to leave the stage in the middle of your song.” Did God know something that we didn’t, did he need an angel with one wing in the fire. My Mother tells me that our fate is determined before we are even born. Some of us grow old and weary, others die before their time. Then there are those who knock on deaths door and walk away to live another day. Fate is written in the stars, only God knows what’s ahead and we must keep on fighting the good fight until our names are called.
Death, is the only guarantee in life, everything else is up in the air. It’s simple really we start dying the moment we are born. We spend our lives climbing the mountain and searching the every day for salvation. Church teaches us that there is a here after and that if we live a Christian life we can walk through the gates of heaven. I believe that a life without sin is a life wasted. Those who never sin, are like dreamers without dreams. Heaven knows that I’m not perfect, like Charlie I too have raised a little cain and I plan on raising a whole lot more before they lay my body down. When someone has lived a good life Indian people will say “He lived a good fight.” Each day is a struggle and each of us must find the strength to see it through.
No one said life would be easy nor will it ever be perfect. The moment you think fate has smiled on you God will pitch a curve ball and throw a wrench into your plans. I have seen more balls and wrenches than I care to count. I have fallen in love only to fall out, I carried a child that God called home before he set foot on this earth, and I fell in love with a man that died before I could even say I do. For some reason I was allowed to walk away from deaths door only to find myself taking a seat at a friends funeral. Honestly I have been to more funerals than I have weddings and baptisms. It seems that I keep on fighting the war while my friends lose the battle. This leaves me mystified. One day I am certain it will all make sense.
Sixteen months ago I felt like my life had ended, my heart was broken, and I was tired. I was tired of saying goodbye and watching my dreams crash upon the shores. Everyone else’s boat was reaching the safety of the harbor, while my dingy kept crashing into the sandbar. I wanted the safety of the harbor. I wanted to feel the comfort of the navigational beacons as I sailed through the channel. Safe harbor is what I wanted, but the sandbar is what I needed. The sandbar taught me to breath and to let go. I faced the horizon and swam towards the shore. My memories are what carried me, I said goodbye to the land of what if and hello to the land of the living.
There are moments where I look back and wonder if Charlie knew that he was going to die before his time. He lived his life outside of the lines and loved with all of his heart. He would tell me “AJ, God is the only thing standing between us and the sandman, only he knows if we will rise in the morning light.” I thank God for each day I wake to face the sun. With each new day comes promise, a chance to write a new page, and to raise a little cain. Life is best lived outside of the lines. I rather party with the riffraff than waltz with the straight and narrow. I rather hold the hand of a sinner than the hand of a man who never dared to live. I am in no hurry and the cold ground will have to wait another day to claim this sinners heart. For I’ve greeted the sun and I’ve got a little more cain to raise.