No matter how smart you are, or think you are, you will never know everything and you just can’t. It doesn’t work like that and there will always been things that you just couldn’t think of.
We wade through life like water at times, and if you’re a good person, you try to understand the people around you and try to grasp their take on things. I always think of others and look out for people and just feel a lot for everyone. I’ve wanted to learn about them so I can gain knowledge and wisdom that will help me. But the one thing I always find is that there’s always a surprise waiting, somewhere, and it will find you when you least expect it. There’s also probably some cool theory to explain that, but you know what I mean. If you aren’t finding surprises anymore then maybe you just aren’t doing anything new? I don’t know and I still don’t understand. Maybe that’s my problem and I shouldn’t be surprised!
When I was young we moved to a new house in a new area, again, and this was to be my last home with my parents; one where I would embark upon life, all on my own for the first time. There’s a signifigance to that if you moved around a lot like my family did and you don’t really have one place that you call home. So that house represented a period of my life and that’s basically how I look at each home: a period in my life in a different area for a few years, in a different house. But they all had a different perspective and my memories are all categorized in my head by which house we lived in when a particular event occured.
This last house was in a cluster of five houses right together and everyone knew everyone and in fact, two of them still live in the same place and never moved. One family had two young kids, 10 and 11 at the time, and I would babysit them periodically and just hang out with them and their mom because they were cool and just felt like family to me. On the days that I watched them, we would watch Aliens and usually all three back-to-back! They had the lines of the movies memorized and I want to remind the younger readers that ‘back then’ there wasn’t an Internet and in many places you didn’t even have TV cable and some folks shared phone lines. They had VHS tape recordings and that’s what we watched, every day. They weren’t even good copies but they were cool movies and I never really did mind and wonder now if those movies affected them? Or me for that matter. I just had to message one of them to ask if they still remember all the lines to them.
But therein lies a world of wonder and surprise. I haven’t thought about that period of my life for a long time, but I do still randomly think about little things here and there and the house and my dad and all the events over the four years I lived there. Even through all those thoughts and memories and even lessons and wisdom gained, I never thought about the impact I might have had on the kids and how they really ever thought of me. The older kid, the girl called me her brother since day one and I’ve always thought of her as a sister. She even has a nickname for me that’s she’s always called me. But I haven’t talked with the younger kid since living in that house so I just didn’t have his perspective in mind at all until just now. He had messaged me online about something on a post I had made and wanted to mention it to me. We started talking a bit and then he tells me today that I was somewhat of a hero to him way back when, and it brought me to tears.
You know what it’s like if you’ve lived long enough. It’s just hard to keep up relations once we all start moving around and some people who you may never expect to, have strong ties to you that have had an impact, or touched them in some way that left a lasting impression on the person they grew to be. Now, I’m not saying that’s what this is, but all my heroes left one with me and I wanted to be like them in some capacity. I feel that there’s something I took from each person I knew that I still have somewhere in me, even if I’ve forgot what it is or whence it came. But the revelation and the surprise is that I was actually even “somewhat” of a hero to anyone. It touched me and I’m a bit teary eyed writing this now. I feel bad for a few reasons and I know it’s not something I could really have thought of, but I never went back to visit him. I did see his sister a few times but I never managed to see him although I always asked of him and how he was doing, I never did see him and it’s now been over thrity years. My last memory is of a ten year old boy but I’ve talked with him online over the years and know him.
People who live their whole upbringing in the same house just won’t be able to understand this but when you have grown up in a dozen different places and houses, you make a lot of friends and it becomes very difficult to keep in touch with everyone. It’s very difficult for me, anyway, but I had a lot of best friends and I still love them all and talk to most of them. One killed himself years ago after I had introduced him to another best friend of mine and not that it’s related but I’ve lost them as well. I’ve lost many friends to suicide and the one that was really close to me had lifelong impact on how I think and feel about certain things. We grew up in a time without the safety features built-in, and labels slapped on everything. There were no guard rails on life and when you grew up in the deep hills, often the only road out you find is one you have to make. I moved away and then came back and then away and back and then away for good. It’s like a heavy gravity your home state. You’ll love it no matter how much you hate it, and it will always be in name, be home.
Life has been weird to me and although I have a big family, and getting bigger, I’ve discovered that we find other family members out there, even though we may not be genetically related. And to those people, when you discover you had more of an impact on them than you realized, and you feel strong emotions that overwhelm you, then that person really was ‘family’ in any and all sense of the word. And the impact was bidirectional and I’m now glad I know this and plan to visit my family soon and more often in the future.