The last time I saw your face


The last time I saw your face, my kind friend. I remember.
When we are blessed with youth and vinegar. We don’t know. We have few mentors and people who shall love us. Today, I walk slower and I think before I speak. I pay attention to my loved one. Gone and with me. I make time for the children and the grandchildren.
 When I was eighteen years old in 1977. Dear Grandmother and grandfather Reyes took me the bus station for the Army. I can still see them with sad faces as the Grey Hound bus took me to New Jersey today.  I volunteered for every active conflict and I did not fear death. I called my Grandfather in the Winter of 1991 when I was in the war-zone. My sister answered, not knowing it was me. She told me. Mr. Reyes died last week. I dropped the phone and I couldn’t get-up. Today, I wished I spend more time with the kind man who help raise me, my mentor. I wished I told. He was the greatest and my blessing. I love you my dear grandfather.
I visit my father in the Summer of 1996. Two week with him. We watched TV till 3 am. Old war movies and every morning we went fishing in the Tennessee river. We talked and talked. I ensure I spend one week with him yearly. I called him at 8 pm every Friday my whole life. I was deployed for training in September 1996 and my wife called me. Your father had was in a deep coma and I must return home. I arrived in Virginia and my father was in the coma. I sat with him for three days. My stepmother told me. He was waiting for you. He awoke one time and he told me. I am so proud of you. I held his hand for two days till his last breathe. I sat next to him till the hospital took him away. At 8 pm on Friday. I want to call him and to hear his voice.
My friend Donald. Best friend, a man could have. His family and my family always did things together. His children were my children and my children were his. Kindest and wisest men I knew. I stood with him in the good days and in the bad days. He was a country boy who served 27 years in the Army. I watched his children when needed and he would watch my children. We were friend for 14 years. We were at Fort Ord, Ca., Fort Hood, Texas and Fort Stewart at the same time. Every year we would organize a family get-together. In 2004, I called his parent and got his address. He stayed in and he was in the National Guard. I send him some books in the Spring to Iraq. He never returned my letter. In September of 2004. I called his father and he told me my friend was killed on August  26th, 2004 in Iraq. I went to my bedroom and me and wife cried. Today if I could go back in time. I would have made time to see my friend Donald. I would thank him for his friendship and standing with me in the good and the bad days.
My uncle Bob went into a coma in September. My mentor and kind friend. He was a safe place for me as a child. I had AWOL parent. Him and my Aunt Pat. Always a free meal, kind words and a safe place to rest. I saw him last in 2006. I would visit him once yearly till the year 2000. Debt, work and keeping up, kept me from visiting Florida. I called Aunt Pat and we talked. I remember his kind face and always positive words for me. He liked his beer and his yard. He died on August 11, 2018. I couldn’t go to say the proper goodbye. Heaven have a good man and father. I wish I called him more and I visit him more. I wish I told him. Thank you Uncle Bob. You were my kindest friend. I love you and I miss you.
I remember many kind faces. Now I know. Spend time with your children. They are children for a second only. Spend time with the family. Our mentors will leave us and we must tell them. We love them and thank you for the concern.
Before we can’t.
                                  Coyote