Observations of life by author and poet Charles L. Chatmon
Earlier this afternoon, a good friend of mine who used to live down the street from me, participated in basketball, football games in my house, convinced me to help him coach our neighborhood YMCA sports teams, and brothers in The Faith, passed away. He was only two years older than I, and I'm not a 'spring chicken' anymore. We grew up together. Tonight as I type this, I will miss him. I always will.
Death is becoming a reality I'm beginning to deal with recently. I have been thinking about it more since my recent birthday, knowing I don't have too much time left on this earth. Then I think about my friend. Why did he have to go? Why was it his time? Why am I still here? Is there something He wants me to accomplish before the moment I see Him face to face? These questions belong to me, but they are part of questions those of us living have asked since the dawn of Mankind. Whatever the answers are, I don't know. I don't have a crystal ball or nor am I a fortune teller. All I can do is continue to live my life and see how far I go.
My friend, let's call him 'GB' was an intelligent young man. Whenever he spoke, he made sense (sometimes, smile!). He was also passionate about the subject matter he and I used to discuss. It can be changes in our neighborhood, movies, sports (mostly sports), pop-culture, you name it. There were times when the neighborhood gang bangers wanted to beat him up due to GB getting on their nerves, lol. I'm glad nothing serious happened. GB was a good guy. We kept in touch over the years. The last time I saw him was only a few months ago while I was taking one of my neighborhood walks. It wasn't long after I suffered my stroke, he unfortunately suffered his own stroke. It gave us a chance to bond and share our experiences on how to deal with it. Since I had my stroke earlier, he would ask me what to do in handling this affliction.
I don't know why GB is not with us anymore. It doesn't matter now. What does matter is that a family will miss a relative, his church family will miss a brother and I, along with countless others, will miss a good friend. I would like to share this before I close; he was also there the moment I read poems during campfire at a YMCA youth summer camp when I was in my late teens. He helped encourage me to keep reading my poems and I believe without his input, I would not be the author I am today.
So thank you GB, thank you for being a part of my life for nearly all of it. I will always remember him even as I pass by the house he used to live in. He will be deeply missed by us all. Myself included.