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Be a Man, Alex...
Alex was well aware that most people thought that he was crazy, but he always felt better when he could talk his way through things, even if he was the only one listening.
As he stood there with his hands on the polished wood, he thought back through his life…
When he was five, he had dreaded going to school that first day.
“Alex, you can do this!”, he told himself.
“Lots of kids do this, every year. Miss Runkle seemed really nice when you met her. The kids that were at orientation were really friendly, and besides, your mom needs a break.” “Are you just going to be a baby all your life?” “Be a man Alex, be a man…”
That first day had been super tough, he really missed his mom, and he was afraid to ask to go to the bathroom, but soon, after a few stern conversations with himself, he was looking forward to school every day.
Then high school had loomed around the corner. Alex was tiny for his age, and had heard horror stories about the 12th graders “ruling the halls”. he was certain he was going to die… a slow tortuous teased death.
“Good grief, Alex! How bad can it be? Haven’t there been countless other kids that have walked those halls before you? There has never been a “death” from teasing!” The only way they can get to you is if you let them… be a man, Alex, be a man…”
He hoped his little pep talk would work on his inner self, as it sure wasn’t working very well on the outer one…
Amazingly, nothing happened that first day of high school… or the second.. or even the third. He barely saw any 12th graders, and he quickly made friends with several kids. High school really wasn’t all that bad.
If he could only figure out a way to get out of all the homework.. but there was no talking his way out of THAT one!
College… Alex was petrified! What did he know about living on his own? And how in the heck was he going to get along with a roommate? He had been an only child his entire life. Surely they didn’t expect him to LIKE having someone prancing around in their underwear in front of him every day..!!?
AND what about hygiene!? He liked things neat, tidy, and CLEAN… this was going to be a horrible horrible experience…
“Alex! You have wanted to go to college your whole life!”, he practically screamed at himself.
“Do you really want to give up your dreams of becoming an engineer just because you are afraid of a little DIRT?”
“You have never met anyone you didn’t like…and if it is that bad, you can always go talk to your advisor about getting a new roommate.” Quit being such a child! You are 18 years old for Christ’s sake… be a man, Alex, be a man!”
What do you know!
Chris was a super nice guy… turned out he loved the outdoors almost as much as Alex. And he was extremely neat and clean.. Alex laughed when he realized how much they truly were alike. Heck, they could have been brothers… cut from the same cloth even.
College life was wonderful! And Chris was a huge part of that. They double dated… they visited each other’s homes, they were inseparable.
Then Alex had decided to get married, and was standing in the Pastor’s office waiting for his cue…
He really needed a pep talk.
Chris was off helping his mom do something.. so if there was going to be any “pepping” done, Alex was going to have to do it…
“WOW WOW WOW…did you ever get the girl!”, Alex chuckled as he talked to himself. “Amanda… what else is there to say.. Beautiful, inside and out, funny, talented. sweet… what more could a man ask for you dope!?”
“Okay…so 200 or so people are going to be staring at you for a few minutes.. but do you REALLY think they came to see YOU chap? They came to see that gorgeous woman who is probably just as nervous as you are right now..”
She is leaving a lot to be with her man, so be a man, Alex, be a man…”
The music started playing just as Chris returned.. this was their cue.. Alex was ready.
Life had been good. Together, he and Amanda had had three children and 12 grandchildren. Shortly, they were expecting their first great grandchild.
It was amazing to Alex how many times he would find himself “thinking out loud”, only to have Amanda come up behind him, and finish the conversation with all her wisdom and insight.
He never got a seven year itch, he never had a mid life crisis, he never saw another woman in the same light. He only wanted to be with her, spend as much time with her as he could, and enjoy every minute…with HER. He surely had done that…
But life gets in the way.. or death does anyway.
Now he was standing here.
The funeral director had given him a few minutes of privacy before the service. Standing here with his hands on the polished wooden casket… standing here, looking down at the still prettiest woman in the entire universe. Alex thought she looked so peaceful and happy..
Alex hoped she had been happy.. he was pretty sure she was.
He could be such a stinker though, as she used to call him..
He hoped that was a good thing…
“Alex old boy.. this is going to be one tough day.”, he sighed to himself.
“It was an amazing life..and you are one lucky dog.” “Your children and grandchildren need you today. It is what she would have wanted. It is time to buck up, go out there, and be a man, Alex…be a man…”
It didn’t stop the tears from flowing, but it still seemed like the manly thing to do…
If this story touches you in any way, good or bad, please feel free to comment below. Your comments inspire me, encourage me, or help me to see the error of my ways and are always welcomed!