One Slip


He was two years older than me, the cousin who quoted The Who and said he’d die before he got old.

The wild child who got into trouble more times than I can count and sometimes included me in his plans.

I loved spending time with him because he was close enough in age to be the older brother I never had.

Sometimes the wild child got me into trouble too.

Thursday afternoon my cousin the wild child lost control of the tractor and fulfilled the awful promise to die before he got old.

These few details are vague because I have no more than the sad words of his little sister. Maybe there is more that should be shared, maybe not.

As far as I know the wild child had long ago gotten his act together and this is the tragic accident in which children lost a father and a grandchild lost their grandpa.

Now I sit lost in memories of the time we had and thinking about the time we never got.

Tomorrow I’ll wait for the calls to move back to Texas and hope they’re for what I want but if they aren’t I’ll keep trying knowing that I have another chance.

I’ll remember the lesson of my cousin too, and not wait for action because one slip is all it takes.

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