“Like I said, things never turn out exactly the way you planned. Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day, you’re in diapers; next day, you’re gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember a place… a town… a house… like a lot of other houses; a yard like a lot of other yards; on a street like a lot of other streets. And the thing is… after all these years, I still look back… with wonder.” The Wonder Years
Mr. P died in early November. He was a good friend of the family and present for the significant events in my life. I can’t remember a big celebration without him. A man of great faith, he was generous, kind, and humble.
Through examples like Mr. P, my parents demonstrated loving and loyal friendships for me.
Like many adults, I am only beginning to understand the significance of my childhood. Through reflection, I am able to trace the warm community and rich opportunities afforded to me. Isn’t it incredible how secondary figures become primary touchstones to our past?
I didn’t see him often, but losing Mr. P has impacted me profoundly.
My earliest recollection is seeing him with his four children and standing alongside his sweet wife. I have a vivid memory of him at a party, cocktail in hand, enjoying a joke with my dad. I remember sneaking downstairs during an infamous gourmet group gathering, (more on this soon), and he was the one who invited me to join the adults. At my wedding, he caught my eye and gave me a wink.
The man was filled with genuine joy. I see now how much I appreciated and respected him. I still do.
I spend most days trying to emulate the friendships my parents created and continue to carry with them. Love and loyalty in friendship form is a treasure.
Mr. P is a part of my wonder years. When I look back at my childhood he is a figure of reverence and radiance. I began the new year with some reflection, and in doing so, I found myself thinking of Mr. P. Sometimes it helps us grow deeper and further, if we look back with love at the ones who brought us light.
Wander in your wonder years. There are some good people and memories to cherish and copy.
Wishing you a new year filled with reflection, inspiration, and joy.