Never made public prior to post, this is the 250 word essay I entered to The News and Observer as my bid to secure one of the "Our Voices" columnist slots. I have heard nothing, and guess that they were not interested.
After 35 years, I have been taught many lessons in school and in life, but what I have learned, I have learned from my heart.
Sadly a lot of what I once thought I had learned turned out to be either incorrect – or I learned that it had changed and what I had learned was no longer valid. I learned in my sophomore year of High School I loved a special little girl. Then I learned she did not love me. Then I learned what heart ache was. Later I learned that I loved another young lady, more than any other, and we married. Have been for 17 years now.
Back when we were young folks said “You will never make it – you are too young – you are being foolish”. I learned that they were being mean, or trying to help when they had no place of interfering. Now I am older, I have a son who is almost 16, and I have learned that their hearts were in the right place, they spoke from sad memory of loves lost, even if we have so far proven their grave predictions wrong.
And I have learned how to be a father – to scold when needed, to hold and sooth when called for. I have learned what it means to love someone unconditionally, even if it breaks your heart to do so.
Now, I can only wonder, as I stand smack in the middle of my life, what I will learn tomorrow.