I’m nine years old, and I’m scared of the man who asked me to get in their car while walking from the bus stop.
And you picked me up from school, got me ice cream and patrolled the bus stop to ensure they were gone.
I’m eleven years old, and I lost my first friend who was my own age.
And you listened to me rationalize it and avoided saying things like “my watch died.” It was too soon.
I’m thirteen years old, and a girl left me off the invite list for a sleepover.
And you ordered pizza and stayed up all night long with me and my brother watching a Back to the Future marathon.
I’m fifteen years old, and I’m terrified of driving.
And you sat in the passanger seat of your new car all afternoon long while I barely missed mailbox after mailbox without ever wincing.
I’m sixteen years old, and a boy was mean to me and broke my heart.
And you gently warned me against letting someone take me away from my family the way he did.
I’m seventeen years old, and I am full of questions because I am being rediculed for my faith.
And you sat with me at Miltons for hours carefully answering every question.
I’m nineteen years old, and I am all set to move into my first apartment.
And you lifted beds and carried couches up three flights of stairs in the brutal summer heat with a smile on your face.
I’m twenty-one years old, and I’m far from home and sick.
And you drove my mother three hours to pick me up despite being sick yourself. when you only had nineteen days left.
I am twenty-one years old, and I’m standing inside a familiar church in a daze.
And you smiled down on my family and filled our hearts with love and happy memories.
I’m twenty-three years old, and it’s cold and rainy.
And I think of you when I open my Eeyore umbrella you gave me so many years before.