People turn to terms such as, “Gone too soon,” when someone dear passes away unexpectedly. These days, I tend to believe God knows the day, hour, minute and second of everyone’s appointed time. We all have one. No one is exempt. Death is a guarantee.
And yet it stings anyway, knowing I’ll never receive another message; another movie; another call from you, cuzzo. In retrospect, had I known that three days after sending that last message you would be gone, I most likely would have said something profound; maybe told you how much I looked up to you when we were kids–even if you were a few months behind me. Maybe I would have told you how amazed I was, that you stuck with track and fitness all these years. It’s astounding that at 46, you were still keeping lap-times with the youngsters. Maybe I would have told you how envious I was of your comic-book collection, and how awesome it was that even now we still had a love for all things Super-Hero related.
Van, I never got to tell you that I still have the very first comic you ever introduced me to, when we were twelve years old: “The Doom Patrol”. I’m still holding on to the books of Shazaam!, back when he had a brother and sister. I never told you that, after we saw BATMAN in 1989, I took to the Dark Knight like a kid loves candy. To this day, I’ve got “The Killing Joke” wrapped in plastic, and card-board backing, just like you taught me, all those years ago. That type of care for my books paid off last year, because I actually sold my Amazing Spider-Man 300 issue for a nice chunk of change, just before the movie “Venom” hit theaters.
I wish I would’ve spoken with you about God. I would’ve wanted you to know about what He did for me; how He brought Misty and the kids into my life; how He changed my actions without making me a prude. I still love 80’s and 90’s music, same as you did. I still watch Marvel and DC movies, just like you. But, I guess I just figured we had time. I knew the day would come when I would get back down to Florida to visit, and that would be our time to talk about Him–about Jesus–the ultimate Super Hero. But I waited too late. And now, you’re gone.
I hope to see you again, in the company of the Lord, family and good friends long gone. I hope, one day we’ll be able to run together: no bad knees; no respiratory setbacks. Just clean air; the Light of the Lord shining on our glorified faces and the wind at our backs. I’m praying for the family down south and those of us up north, who will miss your smile.
I’m a bit late on Calvin Ellis, and the stories of Earth 23. Maybe in honor of you, I’ll look into his story. Maybe I’ll see what the black Superman really meant to you. And just maybe, I’ll see a bit of you in him. Rest easy, son of krpyton. You will be missed.
~ For VanDiesel 2019 ~