In life some are eager, like Dan, a peer I met back in college. Others are fearful like my own personal hero Scooby Doo, however, whatever the attitude held we must learn to look forward, turning our backs to the past, letting go of the balloons that have lost their helium and searching for the ones freshly filled. I would ask us to raise a toast to my dear friend in this time of letting go and moving forward, but something tells me it would be a better idea to bow our heads in a moment of appreciative silence because frankly, she would want me to abide by the rules.
Today marks the four year anniversary of the passing of my dearest companion, my childhood. As tragic as this incident had originally seemed and the weight it still holds, I have been able to realize the magnificence that came in such a time of heartbreak. My childhood taught me many things and introduced me to many influential mentors. One of these, Scooby Doo, taught me “friends don’t quit.” The very wise Winnie the Pooh once told me that, “Some people care too much. I think it is called love.” Charlotte’s Web, a book who met its demise at the will of my dog, Winston, who was thoughtfully named after the great Pooh Bear, reminded me that, “After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die.”
As I turn my back on the things of the past, as I remember the passing of my friend, my childhood, I ensure you that this is a time of celebration, a time to remember, a time to not regret but to live. As my companion, my childhood, taught me, I must remind myself in her absence that life is for the living. I must let go of the sinking balloons and grasp hold of those that are rising, just as my favorite silly old bear did. I must not quit, I must love, and I must live while I have the chance.
My childhood’s life was a life well lived. Her presence will be forever missed, but it is no longer a time of grief, but rather of joy in recognition of the times to come. Despite “the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days” we must continue to remember the words that Pooh encouraged me with, “you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
Cheers to Childhood, for she lived a life worth toasting to, no matter the consequences.