Years Gone by…
In the pictures of my younger self, I see the years gone by…
My head tilts in wonder, “Who is this person?”
“Is this me? Or someone with an uncanny resemblance?”
I feel like I slept in one place and woke up in another.
Like I blinked for an eternity.
And my eyes opened to a new world. A new life.
They say, “We live only once.”
Then why does it feel, like I have lived many lives?
In awkward silences with old pals, I see the years gone by…
Inseparable once we were. Joined by the hip.
Playing games, hanging out, chatting everyday.
Arguing, bickering, debating about things.
Now time and distance has made us like strangers.
Should I start afresh? Or pick up where we left?
Is nostalgia enough to sail us through the years to come?
Or is it time, to build new memories?
In the growing stature of my nephews and nieces, I see the years gone by…
I once held them in my arms.
Hugged, fed, cleaned, consoled them.
Taught them to ride a bike, throw a ball, hold a bat.
Played silly games, watched cartoons with them.
Now I’m unsure if they even know me…Or if I know them.
Once they followed me around wherever I went.
Everything I did was interesting. Everything I said was hilarious.
I could do no wrong. Nothing was mundane.
Now I struggle to keep them interested in a conversation.
Do they remember the moments that we shared?
Or am I now a distant memory?
Am I still their hero?
Or just an occasional guest?
They say, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
But I often wonder, does absence make the heart forget?
In the tempering of my dreams, I see the years gone by…
The sky was the limit once. Every desire meant to be fulfilled.
Every wish was in grasp. Just a matter of time.
Now even when things are in reach, I pull my hands back.
Being practical is my motto. Realism my virtue.
The daily grind has robbed me of my sheen.
I don’t dream as much. Just long and despair.
Once I didn’t know much of the world, but believed all was possible.
Now the more I know, the more I wish I didn’t.
“Was I better off then?”, I wonder. Or am I better now?
Is it better to be blissful but unaware?
Or to be gloomy but informed?
In the aging face of my father, I see the years gone by…
Unstoppable once he was. Full of style and swagger.
We stuttered to speak before him. Scared of his temper. His raging voice.
His work kept him away all day.
He shuttled all around, while we waited.
Now that he has hung his boots, its time for me to run.
Home is where he’ll always be. I shuttle while he waits.
He once commanded. Now he requests.
He doesn’t shout anymore. Just worries.
Age and ailments underline his slow pace and tired face.
“Such is life”, he says. “What comes must go.”
He cautions me when I leave the house. “Be careful out there!”
How do I convey, it’s my turn to worry for him.
People often say, “Children! Oh, they grow up so quick!”
Why didn’t anyone tell me how quickly my parents would grow?
I feel tears well up behind my eyes.
Tears that would once gush out.
Now just dry up in the well.
Never to drip down my face.
Did I move too fast? Or too far?
Did anyone try to stop me?
Was I too self involved to notice?
How fast is too fast? How far is too far?
Should we ever turn back?
Or is forward the only gear?
Onward the only spirit?
Should I forever pursue the new?
Or step back and nurture the old?
Or maybe find a way…
To blend the old with the new?
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