(Editor’s note—I wrote this a while back. It’s based on a friend who has since gone on to the other side. The world is most definitely a lesser place without him.)
By John Clise
The melancholy warrior poet soldiered on into the unknown. His season of rage was untold at that point. He’d been on the ropes hanging on for dear life. Taking blows to the body and to the head and not going down to the canvas. The flurry of blows kept coming and he kept standing there taking one after another.
Life began to change for him. Unsure of who he really was or where he was supposed to be or supposed to be going, he stopped fighting. He gave up the fight for what he thought was supposed to be in life. He stopped resisting. He stopped hoping for the best. He walked away. Each step was easier than the one before. His body was bruised and his mind was racing.
His combatants were left with scars on their hands. His icy hard skin could not be broken. His spirit could not be tamed. Not permanently. They pursued him but he kept walking. he paid them no mind anymore.
As he walked off the field of battle his mind began to wander back to childhood. He was walking the aisles of K-Mart waiting for a blue light special or to make his way to the lunch commissary for a hot dog and a fountain drink.
He thought about riding his bike down King Kong mountain. No one had before. No one had since. The youthful exuberance filled his mind.
He remembered a time when anything was possible. There were no limitations or bonds to bind the mind or the heart.
Suddenly he skipped a few feet down the path as he had as a child. He laughed out loud without worry of being seen or heard. He didn’t need to worry about being quiet anymore. The war was over for him. He was free to live again. He was free to live for the first time since nearly his childhood. His mind was strong and clear.
He prayed prayers of thanks to God as his mind cleared. The combative nature of his life was draining away. Without any idea of where he was going or how he would get there he kept putting one foot in front of the other. Finally, even the thoughts of keeping his mind on moving forward fell away. The smile returned to his face.
He wore the scars not as badges of honor but of reminder of the things and people that tried to kill him and were not successful. He lived everyday like it was a warm summer day. The fear came out of his eyes. The anger came out of his eyes. A soft twinkle came to his eyes. A long sweet smile found its way to his face.
The quiet time of his life was filled with much love, many friends, success, joy, blessings, strength, adventure, and more love.
He counted all of his blessings. He even counted the ones that came during the storms of his life as the ones that saved him. God’s blessing of strength to him God’s blessing of love to him. God’s blessing of leading him to the place He wanted for him. God cradled him in His arms during the darkest hours and held his hand in His as he walked out of the battle.
The love of God is never ending. God brought him to the love of his life. She stayed with him like a rock. She was the rock he broke himself on at times. He fell into her arms. He learned to be a man to stay in her life. He learned to love and trust to be part of her life.