Updated: Feb 5, 2022
How time flies. Wow, look at you back when….Young Vino! I look back into the eyes of the young man in this picture and marvel at your transformation. Your eyes were so fresh and bright, not yet exposed to any of the underbelly of humanity. You hadn’t been lied to by your “closest friends.” At this point you hadn’t had your ideas stolen from you and capitalized on by everyone but you. You hadn’t yet stared into the lifeless face of your older brother and begged God for the answers that would never come. Wow, I bet you hadn’t even had your heart broken yet.
Your eyes danced with electric energy that fills us from birth.
Your skin was taut and your face was baby smooth, as six or seven hairs locked arms on your top lip pretending to be a mustache. You didn’t have to shave as yet and your smooth skin hadn’t been damaged by the rusty butter knife you used to scrape off that foul smelling Magic Shave. The glass shrapnel from the car that blindsided you had not yet pierced the skin around your arms, chest, and head. Your forehead hadn’t yet wrinkled as it would when the worry about your children would begin to show itself. Your skin glowed with youthful exuberance. Your physique was lean and athletic, not yet taking the full pounding of the stress and strain you would put on it over the years. You were much slimmer then, as your massive caloric intake was offset only by a metabolism that was just as massive. No longer however, as now I have to watch what I eat, monitor how much I eat, and stop eating completely when it becomes too late. Ha! Your body was primed to be the armor to protect your essence.
“Young Alvin,” I have so much to share with you, but not in this letter. I will just smile at you and try to remember those days. What was going through your head? What were your goals? There was so much that you hadn’t yet learned. So much that life hadn’t shown you at that time. But you looked prepared. God Bless the young.
The world was your oyster and you were going to be immortal. I have to tell you, life has indeed changed me. Shaped me. Humbled me. Oh, it hasn’t dampened my zeal for living “young Alvin.” Nor has it dimmed my eternal search for the inherent good in everyone. It has blessed me. It has given me thousands of reasons to laugh. And it has given me just as many reasons to cry. I have loved. I have lost. I have truly experienced ALL that life has to offer. And I know that you didn’t know where the journey would take you at that time, but let me say this “young Alvin”….through prayer, and a unwavering sense of character and purpose, you have gotten “us” this far. And for that, I thank you young man. And I’m sure you pondered and thought about your future with great uncertainty…..but “young Alvin”…..I must admit……it was all worth it…..LIFE IS STILL GOOD!