I have taken my meds. I wait for something to pop into my mind before the wooziness begins. I'm playing around with the dictionary, my side-kick.I use to hate looking words up. Once you learn your A B C's and learn to read Dick and Jane, words increasingly get tougher I suppose that's the whole point though. My first grade teacher Mrs. Horsefield (laugh if you want) was sweet and patience. Words and teachers grow more demanding. My sixth grade teacher was strict and a good teacher. It was here that I heard the news that president John Fitzgerald Kennedy was dead. From that moment the innocence of childhood was gone. Everyone feels the loss as Walter Cronkite sullenly gives the evening news as many members of the family watch in denial at grandpa's house. I try to understand as a 13 year old child/man. I remember watching the funeral. My life has changed, I feel as a man and think as a child. Adventures of Tom Sawyer are gone replaced by realities of "The Real World". I'm not read to comprehend such an insidious act. I now become part of the "reality-hood".
Life was never the same an arrow was lodged in my chest and I did not know how to remove it. I studied the assassination of Lincoln but that seemed ancient history. I did feel somewhat better after reading about him growing up in a log cabin, his love of reading and how he would read by the light of the fireplace. I could identify by wanting to finish a story when I was told to go to bed I would finish with flashlight. I could not sleep if I didn't finish. If Lincoln the way he grew up could become president dreams are achievable. Books are my escape imagination dreams are a good thing to be cherished. My grades are good and something to be proud of.
A non-understandable feeling however would not subside. A year goes by we get on with our lives the man from Texas is president. My grandfather leaves me , the one adult male, I truly loved, we could sit side by side not speaking yet communication did not stop. He became hard of hearing with age , I was born that way. I allowed him to cut a thorn out of my foot with his pocket knife.He was so much more than my grandfather. He was my mother's father and share the same quiet gentleness. He never raised his voice. He was forced to retire from the rail-road industry having worked there 40 years because of hearing problems.
Reality too close has changed me and not for the better. My grades slide I now hate school. Absenteeism begins. I hide from the loneliness and escape to books, where I never felt alone. My imagination takes over I do not wish to be in the real world. I could go deep into the seas with Jules Verne and laugh with Mark Twain my all-time favorite author. He would make make me laugh when I need it most. School was never the same , I struggle with life never seeming to fit in. "I was who I was or as "Popeye would say" I am what I am".
Loved the hot new group from Liverpool. Loved cars working part-time to buy one. I just simply did not know who I was! Certainly not unusual for anyone at that age probably. I really never thought what if? I merely look back and see where my life was altered. Valuable lessons are hard taught but never leave. These glimpse are but many that create GlenView. Hard work, perseverance, living teaches daily life lessons and shape us as we try to understand.
G. E. G.