I heard about Korey only three days ago. Immediately, I knew I would never forget him. Time will show me in what capacity I will remember him, but he will be remembered.
God willing I will make it to my Twilight years, Joe and I will be sitting by an outdoor fire pit, in our backyard. All of the animals are close by. Our kids, with maybe a few grandkids, will be on their way over for dinner. Naturally, I will have ordered take-out, as I do not see myself even in my Twilight years as much of a cook.
Aj will be the first to arrive. He will have his beloved husky close by his side. Aj never had children, he knew from early on that he only wanted pets, specifically a husky. Over the years he has lost his share of pets. Now, now was the time. He is in a good place and could afford the exact dog he has been talking about since he was seventeen.
Sofia would be next to arrive. Pregnant with her second child. Sofia and her husband have great banter between them. I am proud. For once my youngest daughter listened to me. She started off as great friends with her now husband. They had known each other through grade school, lost touch during middle school, reconnected in high school, and social media being what it was, never lost touch.
Vinnie and his wife would be next. A lovely woman. You have to have a sense of humor to be with Vinnie, and she has it. Vinnie has excelled as a fireman, currently, he and his wife are discussing having children. Just like his older brother, Vinnie has an assortment of pets. He has always had and always will have a special place in his heart for animals.
Gracie would be last to arrive. My one child who I thought would be on time, ever rarely is. She has had great success in her own way. Tonight is about her, tonight we are celebrating her recent engagement. It’s been quite the journey with her. Many trials and tribulations along the way.
Tonight, as our family gathers around the fire pit, surrounded by our beloved pets, family, and memories, we will all make a toast in Gracie and her fiance’s honor. We will celebrate the past, present, and future.
I will turn to my soon to be son in law, I will hug him while trying to hide my tears of joy. Jake, my rescue dog will immediately come up to me, making sure I am okay. I will reassure Jake while letting go of my soon to be son in law and say the words “We have prayed about you for a long time now. God took his time which is usually the norm for this family. We are glad you are here. We are glad you are not a Korey.” My soon to be son in law will look at me, assuming I have had one too many vodka tonics. Vinnie will jump in. “Oh I remember him, I wanted to kick his ass!” Sofia will look at her husband, rolling her eyes “Not this again!” and Aj will be dumbfounded. “Who the hell is Korey. You guys never tell me anything!”
I will sit back down in my spot next to the fire pit, tightly wrapping my shawl around me. The cool Seattle air is showing us the first signs of fall.
“Korey was the first boy who broke Gracie’s heart.”
Three days ago when I picked up Gracie from school, she informed that Korey likes her, and she likes him too. I went home and had a drink, not quite knowing how to digest this new information. This was new territory for me, and in some ways, territory that I never expected to tread on so soon.
I listened to Gracie tell me all that she could about Korey.
Come to find out Korey and Gracie have not yet spoken one word to each other, yet they were somehow dating.
I can relax a little.
The next day I pick Gracie up from school. She is not acting quite like herself. I just assumed she was tired.
As we all get settled, I go into to her room tell her dinner is ready. Gracie is crying. Full blown tears, cannot catch her breath crying.
“Gracie, what is wrong? Talk to me?!”
Behind sobs, she was able to muster “Korey called me a loser today.”
And right then and there, I wanted to kick Korey’s ass.
Right then and there, I new times, they are a changin.
Korey, probably the first of many.
Korey, the one who broke my daughter’s heart.
Of course, I have no idea how this life of mine will play out. That is how it is supposed to work. The best case scenario, well, you just read that.
In this life, there will be sickness, death, promotions, and success. We will have life teach us lessons in many different ways. Some lessons are harder than others. Sometimes we will not even know they are lessons until we move on to the next big thing. Those of you reading this, we know it is those hard tough lessons in life that builds our strength, builds our character.
There is a man. Close to middle-age. He is in the kitchen, washing dishes from dinner. His wife is upstairs, giving their young children a bath. This man finishes up the dishes, grabs a beer. He goes out to his deck, lights up a cigar, a gift from his own father. He joins his son, his thirteen-year-old son who has been sitting on the very same deck for hours.
The man motions for his son to take off the headphones. The son obliges.
“How ya doing bud? Anything I can do?”
The son tries to discreetly wipe the beginnings of fresh tears away from his eyes.
“Nah Dad, I’m good.”
The man slowly inhales his cigar, before permanently placing it down.
“Son, let me tell you about the time I was in the seventh grade. The time I made a girl cry, the time I called her a loser.”
The son seems moderately interested.
“I was not proud of that. It was more important for me to impress my friends. I did not even think of the girl it would hurt. I was selfish, I was stupid. I think about her every now and then. A quiet girl. I knew she liked me, but it was the seventh grade. All I cared about was football…… Gracie. I hope she has done well for herself.”
She did, Korey. She truly did.