Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Wow! ...2008...geez...


Well,here we are in two thousand and eight (!) and I'm writing my 2nd blog entry- amazing!

I've been plodding along this big blue marble for nearly 54 years now and even in those relatively few days of existence,I've had the honor to live thru some fascinating times.

Hell,the 60s alone would justify that remark-lol-tho they say the if u can remember the sixties,you "weren't there"- I'm gonna hafta say BULL PUCKIES to that- i was there-i remember it-one didn't need to be stoned to have truly lived thru those turbulent years.

The Beatles!!

The drive-ins!

The hippies!

The clothes!

The drugs!

The riots...

The Viet Nam War...

the assassinations...

i remember standing in single file with my 4th grade classmates-we were walking out to recess-at the top of the stairs the teacher stopped us because there was an announcement over the loud speakers (yes,we had loud speakers in them thar ancient days ;o) about the assassination of our President,John F. Kennedy...to this day i can remember the sadness and shock that swept thru the kids and teachers-even tho i was only a youngster then...yeah...that day will ALWAYS be with me...

I didn't mean to be so maudlin today,it's just that as you get older-as you go "forward"-you tend to look back. I was reminded of this the other day when my 14 year old-barely a blip on the big ol' time clock-was nostalgic for her old home (which is only about three blocks away by the way ;o) and walked up and down the old street where she lived-climbed the tree she practically lived in outside her old home-talked to the neighbors who watched her grow from baby to teen...even at 14 she was looking back.

I mentioned my brother,Kevin yesterday- he and i grew up with my dad,who was always on the move-always leaving behind a failed relationship or job and moving on-with his two boys in tow-back when Kevin was about 12 or so,he got into trouble-a lot-but then our dad was never home (he was out working hard to support us and also tried to have a social life) and he was always being watched over by his older (by a year and a half) big brother-me-it was my job,at the tender age of 13,to clean house ,cook the meals and watch Kevin-oh-and try to have a childhood-lol-so i don't blame my lil bro for rebelling- and there came a time when the state of NJ said to my dad: "You can't control your son,Mr. Vokes,so we're going to have to take him away..."
...as you can imagine,that was a traumatizing moment for all 3 Vokes men-i wasn't even told the details about my brother's leaving us til a few years later when my dad also left ME-when i was about 15-to scrounge for myself (lest i make my dad out to be a monster,let's give him the benifit of a doubt as to his decisions back then-40 years ago-he's changed,I'm happy to say ;o)

When i was 18 or 19 i tracked down my brother to try and reunite-we had a pleasant lunch and i think that we both realized we had grown apart-we were both teens and establishing our own lives at that point-i never heard from him again...

Flash forward to the age of the internet-i tried tracking him down again about ten years ago but had no success- what i realized after several more tries thru those years was he probably changed his name-so i went on with my life,accepting the fact i'll never see my brother again.

Then...this year-the day after Thanksgiving (how about that timing?) i get a mysterious email from someone named Kevin-but with a different last name-i thought he was a fan or something-then he sent a 2nd email which explained otherwise...after the shock of realizing who this writer was,i managed to start a email thread with him that helped fill in some of those 35 years-we then made a plan to get together in the flesh and ladies and gents...wow...another memory to look back on and smile...we shared stories of our misspent yoot and just soaked up the very awesomeness of this moment in our long and eventful lives-I'm glad to say i now have a lil brother again and we hope to get dad and him together to mend some of those bridges as well-I'll be sure to share that with y'all when it happens.

Here in 2008,it's time to look back-not to dwell in the past,but rather embrace it-not to fret over regrets about things never done- learn from it-accept the bad WITH the good-all those experiences are the building blocks of who we are,my friends.

The day's gonna come when you may not be able to remember them (my dad is fast approaching that) and you'll wish you could...

"All those moments...will be lost in time...like tears...in rain..."
--BLADE RUNNER

Neil

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3 comments:

Fred said...

Powerful story Neil. A nice reminder of what this life is about when we're focused on the important stuff. Thanks for sharing.

nvokes said...

you're very welcome,pal- it's been on my mind a lot lately and thought this was a good place to share it...;o)

Holger Haase said...

Amazingly, he looks so much like you even after all those years. Glad you were able to meet him again.