We were children of the 50s and early 60s, first of the boomers.
Our parents knew of wars and more wars, much lack, and hard work.
They were either directly sent off to war or worked hard to support
the war-efforts. My generation heard and read of wars as we were
being groomed for more wars like Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, the
Cold War, and the War on Terror. In wars, we often major in blood,
grief, deaths, and defeats. But we minor in far too few victories. Oh,
I apologize. I am getting a bit sidetracked, because this is about Johnnie.
I am certain I would never have remembered my cousin Johnnie.
His mother and my father were siblings who cared about 'family'.
More than 40 years had transpired from when we were just boys.
We were last together when we were merely adolescents at best.
At the funeral of another of our parents' sibling, we met again.
By then, I was in my mid 50s, wearing a full beard and glasses.
He had 'an eye for eyes' it seemed, as he set his eyes on mine.
Out of a crowd of cousins, he picked me and said, "Hi Sitruc".
I was clueless about who he might be before he introduced himself.
It was then that I posed the question to him, "How could you possibly
remember who I was?" Johnnie's reply was simply, "It was your eyes".
That encounter became one forever treasured, 'one for the memories'.
We were in his city, and before I left town, he invited me to his home.
He was a single man, and we never got to talk about his personal life.
In addition to 'the eye encounter', Johnnie, perhaps without realizing it,
did something very special for me. He took me to the grocery store.
There was a 'seasoning' he wanted me to have. So he purchased the item
special to him, and couldn't wait to share it with me. I tell you, the sharing of himself was something special, and the real gifting was the seasoning of his soul permeating mine. And that has made a world of difference in me.
I'm sorry that I never got to tell him before his demise how he made me feel. I must say that like seasoning, it often takes marinating and time for special things to create a taste so lasting and genuine. In my heart, the childhood cousin became a very special person to me, and one forever spoken about.
082321PSCtest, The One Who Touched My Heart, Regina McIntosh
Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2021
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