I don’t remember much about this boyhood playmate. I was pre-school age and he lived two doors from me. His name was Wesley. I remember his mom and older sister, Midge; they were both nice. His dad’s name was Red. He sat in the front room and didn’t say much at all. Their house was old and weathered.
Wesley was very shy, almost afraid to say anything to anyone. He walked with his head down and appeared as if he were trying to be invisible. These traits would be more pronounced as he grew older, but in those preschool days, he was like any other boy. We played together all the time. He really liked to play and got excited about it. I am thankful for those memories.
I lost track of Wesley when we moved from the neighborhood. School started and my young boy’s life was starting to get busy. Through the years, I do not remember thinking of my pre-school friend. We went to high school together and probably saw each other around some, but don’t know that we ever spoke. I hope we did, if nothing but a nod as we passed.
Graduation came and the rest of my life was ahead. I spent three years in the navy right after graduation. While I was away, it happened. Wesley, the boy who lived next store those many years ago, took his own life. He was nineteen.
It bothers me to this day that I lost track of Wesley. It bothers me that I may have passed him in the halls or on the street and never said hello. Maybe I did; I hope so.
Is there someone you have lost track of who was a part of your life once upon a time? Maybe you still have a chance to say hello. That one word may make all the difference.