Observations of life by author and poet Charles L. Chatmon
Life is too short, much too short.
This past weekend, one of my old AOL friends passed away. Apparently from what I can tell, she had been sick for a while and her sister quickly spread the news on her Facebook page that my friend who also was a teacher (very good one too) lost her battle to her ailment.
In the past year, I’ve lost friends that I had lost contact with or didn’t initiate conversations with on social media due to the fallacy of building up ‘numbers’ for a) the expo and then b) myself. I am a fool for not reaching out and at least saying a word or two to my social media friends, the ones who actually know me and bought books from me.
Says a lot about the ‘social’ in social media today, doesn’t it?
‘Roz’ as I used to call her online, wasn’t a number. She was a good woman who I’m glad I had the chance to speak with and get to know over our years of the online connection although I wish it were more. Right now, I’m in shock and feeling numb over her loss. For anyone who is reading this, please make the time to connect with your friends on social media whether it’s Facebook or Twitter because you’re not quite sure when it’s turn to log off permanently.
Life is much too short.
Twenty three years, that’s how long it’s been since I’ve walked into a public place with faces staring at me believing I’m the famous television and movie actor Charles Dutton.
It happened again tonight as my wife Chandra and I were returning home from dinner and decided to stop at a bakery to buy a few sweets. The clerk at the counter gave me that look - one I’ve grown accustomed to many times - and before she asked, Chandra already knew. After telling the cashier I wasn’t Mr. Dutton, we bought our pastries for this evening and continued our way home on an early rainy evening.
You know, it’s been this way since 1992 when Mr. Dutton’s show ‘Roc’ appeared on the air. Suddenly, because I share the same facial structure as he, I’ve been compared to him, over and over again. When a former coworker met him at the airport and told him about me, (at least he knows I exist) according to my coworker, he apparently said as much “I hope he’s a good guy.”
All Mr. Dutton has to do is read The Depths of My Soul or The Voices of South Central, log on to CharlesLChatmon.com and check me out on my social media pages. Then he’ll see I’m not so bad after all (smile). I don’t mind the comparisons at all. I’ve been used to them by now. I even received a free cookie from the bakery because of the benefits of looking like my more recognizable double. I just don’t like when it’s done to death by the same person over and over again. A certain preacher’s kid knows what I’m talking about (smile). The same thing happened in a classroom two weeks ago when a staff member said out loud, “You know who you look like?” Yes!
So this will continue until I ‘blow up’ as a writer or one of my projects breaks through. Until that time, I’m the guy who looks like ‘Roc’ and gets clowned for it.
If you haven’t heard from me……..
I’m still writing, just focused on working on a project or two, plus it’s spring break so I’m taking it easy for now.
Thanks for your support. I plan to write a new post for you readers (and lurkers) soon.
Ten years ago, I lost my grandmother. I took her passing really hard, but realized she no longer had any pain to endure. Her last words to me were said in a moment where she wasn’t quite herself, and not able to have a conversation with me. Funny how the words a loved one can say to you even at the point of death are supposed to be conscience stirring, have an impact that will change the direction of our lives. However, my grandmother didn’t say that at all. I can say - and reveal the final words I ever heard her say to me.
Honest, that’s what she said to me. The final words I heard from her. She was under medication so the doctors had to care for her. I never had the chance to speak to her again because she had drifted into an unconscious state during her last week on earth. When I heard that she had died, I took time away from work and began to express my feelings of her loss with tears. Before those last words to me, she told me how she wanted to have a taste of some spicy fries. What made her say that, I have no idea. My grandmother wasn’t in any condition to have spicy fries, but then again, you didn’t know her well.
I spent most of my life making repeated trips to see my grandmother. Those visits began my lifelong affair reading comic books on the steps of her small front porch, flipping through the funny pages. My cousins stayed close to her so we all grew up together. The visits also produced a friend who was of a different ethnicity than I, meeting a young man whose family didn’t leave the neighborhood at that time. I never saw him after our first meeting as I believed his family did leave their house. This was back in the early 1970’s.
Honestly, I miss her even now. While I feel she preparing to spend eternity with the Father, I can’t help but realize I miss her experience, her wisdom, watching the joy on her face as I showed her one of my published books, an article I wrote and my diploma from college. She never saw me run a book expo although I’m certain she would have attended. She also didn’t get to share in one of my greatest days ever, my wedding. My grandmother would have enjoyed that.
In honor of my grandmother, I guess I will go somewhere and look for some spicy fries. It would be a fitting tribute to a woman who was a huge part of my life and glad she saw the best of it while she was alive. This year I’ve seen too many good friends move on from this life, so it is very important to make each day count, even to our last words ever spoken. I’ll never forget Mother, no one in my family will. I pray that she finally will have that peace we all seek in life, but never find until it’s too late.
It’s been a bit slow with the transition to a new/old job and helping a soon to be new author become published, that I haven’t focused enough on the new book coming out but it is on the way.
I just wanted to say that I feel blessed for all the things that have happened in my life in the past month. It looked like 2015 would be another year of struggle, but so far that hasn’t been the case even though I’m not involved with book events any more.
The Creator, God, has always been the driving force for my success and continues to be. I don’t quite understand why folks today don’t even acknowledge what He’s done for us, even keeping us living and breathing each day. I’m saying all this because over the weekend I lost a good friend who attended the same college as I. We weren’t close, but we were friends and her loss shook me up a bit. If you knew her, you’d know Christy always had the sweetest smile and the biggest heart. Now for those of us who knew her, we will forever miss out on her positive light.
I think about Christy’s transition as I’m slowly approaching fifty years of age. This is the moment in our lives where we begin to reflect about the direction we’ve taken and the bumps along the way. It’s a time where I examine my own life and mortality. One day reader, I will make my own transition but hopefully I’ve left enough of a ‘legacy’ here on this blog to show you my heart, mind, and spirit in these pages. Christy left her legacy with her consulting firm and although I haven’t published many books as of now, it is my fondest wish that enough was covered on these pages to help you see the issues on my mind and the topics I’m most passionate about. Again, all credit goes to the Creator for giving me this talent to share with you.
What is your legacy? What will you leave behind when it’s your turn to leave this world? This is a question that I continue to grapple with, although I hope all of you reading this will have your own answers to this very challenging and complex question.