I have seen the dark things that wait in the shadows of the alleys we fear to go into.
I have held in my hand the most delicate of innocence.
I have spent too much time wandering in places where light cannot reach, the empty, frightful places.
And I have breathed in deeply the thinly veiled air of success.
When it is my day to step beyond the horizon, I will look forward to it; I will run to it,
I will not fear that place for it is my destiny, but I will not go with thoughts of regret.
I have lived my life; I have peered at an antediluvian sunrise with its intense, rich colors.
I have stood naked in the rain letting it wash over my body and cleanse my soul.
And I have touched love; I have let it pour through my fingers in abundance, raised it to my face and bathed in it.
I will not go from this world into the next without knowing what it felt like to hurt, to feel hunger, to experience strife and conflict of my very being, to smell the rot of guilt and then be raised by of prideful humbleness of integrity.
I will celebrate all that I am and have been, for had it not happened the way it all did, I would not be me.
I do not desire a statue or a monument, I do not require a plaque to feel accomplished, I yearn only to remain in the hearts of all those I have loved and who’ve loved me. To be shared through an embrace, a cherished hug between friends, a kiss between lovers and in the kind grip of interlaced fingers and the warmth of two hands.
Look at your brothers and sisters, your friends, your parents and your lovers, your grandparents and your neighbors, stare into their eyes and know that love is there, even if they don’t, it is always there. Rejoice in that, accept it, treasure it and value it over all else.