Requiem for 2018

Alas we’ve reached the final page of the final chapter of a year which at times seemed to fly by, while others appearing stuck in time and space.  There’s no question there are many of you who’re now recalling some of the past transgressions of others along with memorable happenings which you now wish could be preserved and called upon whenever finding yourselves in the midst of a dark hour or two.

Be as it may, this past year has certainly brought about a great number of illuminations for us in just about every arena of our lives.  Some of those may have been considered positive experiences, while others leaving burning scars that may never heal.

All I can ask of everyone who’s lived thru those solar flares this year, is to remain thankful that you survived and simply add those scars to your book of memories while never looking back, because whenever we look back on such things, we’re re-living the pain which never did belong to us.  One of our country’s find minds once said, “I wish the absolute best for even the most evil of people as long as they stay as far away from me as possible, but no farther.”

As chance would have it, a gentleman whom I’ve known for a number of years, stopped by the office today to wish me a Happy New Year.  I could tell he seemed a bit down in the dumps, so I asked how everything’s been with him.  I guess he felt a need to talk to someone about recent events in his family and must’ve considered me to be the one worthy of hearing his story.

After about a half hour of listening, I discovered his family has definitely slipped farther to the dark side since we last spoke, because there are three of his siblings who’re delving all the deeper into drug and alcohol abuse to where I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if one of them drinks herself to death and/or another being found dead of an overdose.

What’s the most unfortunate, is that his parents have skewed perceptions of the day-to-day happenings in their household to where they’re likely thinking all the bad will pass and their family’s life will soon get back to normal.  Of course that’s the greatest frustration with today’s visitor because he knows fully well how bad it is, and the likely outcomes which are going to happen more sooner than later.

All I could do was encourage him to stay strong and not allow the poisonous actions of his crazy siblings to turn him into something he’ll later hate because I’ve seen situations like his taking place in other families over the years, and the unfortunate by-product of it is guilt which the survivors internally place on themselves for not doing more to stop the downward spiraling of a substance abusive family member.

While he was there, I went and found that special edition of Time magazine which I received early this year containing single page real-life stories of the lives and deaths of drug abusers.  The one that shocked him the most was the photo of a pregnant woman who appeared to be in her sixties or early seventies, when in fact she was in her early 30’s.

It gladdened me to see his attention being more draw to articles regarding perfect strangers who’ve gone thru similar family crisis’, and away from his own, because I discovered long ago that no matter how much we believe the worst has happened in our own lives, everyone else’s is NOT all sugar and spice.  Even thinking that our families, for better or worse are “special”, is nothing less than being blinded by fairy-tale ideas which should have been shed the same time the rest of us discovered that Santa and the Tooth Fairy were just make believe.

After he left in much brighter spirits, I considered myself all the thankful for being at my office at the time he dropped by because he really did need someone to soulfully give him direction.  If there was but one word I spoke that he took to heart and would later help with issues facing his family in these times, I’ll consider it the greatest and best of gifts I could’ve freely given to anyone this Holiday Season.  I’ve found that when being approached by someone who’s struggling in darkness, the utmost we can all do is to hold up our lanterns of hope in order for them to find their own way.

The above photo is one I took several weeks ago which I thought a bit creepy when seeing that burial vault on a trailer in our Historic Downtown.  Not knowing at the time what I’d ever use if for, I believe it was meant to be used for tonight’s journal page.

What I now want you all to do, is to think of all the mean-spirited, painful, disappointing, vengeful, selfish, and vicious things that people have said and done to you over this past year, and in your minds, walk over to that burial vault, open its lid, place within all the evil you’ve gathered, and then close it, but make sure you follow that trailer to its graveyard burial plot, so that we can altogether sing a requiem for 2018.

Without reserve, I’m sending out to all of you the best of intentions for 2019!

Tonight’s one-liner is:  Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better person.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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