While driving home from picking my daughter Bob up from wrestling practice we were discussing her Dad’s birthday gift. I suggested we get him a birdbath for the front yard. “Why does Dad like watching birds? Old people watch birds” I laughed and said “Now wait a minute Micheal liked to watch birds. In fact when he was Anthony’s age I bought him a bird watching book and binoculars.” “Well Micheal was an old person in a young body” Now why I tell you this is because for the past week I have been trying to figure out how to explain something about my son… He was an old soul. Bob simplified in such a way I am think anyone can understand it.
In many ways Micheal was your typical teenager. He loved to go out with his friends and do silly stuff. But in other ways he was an old soul who saw things with a wisdom of years beyond his own. It was his old soul that made him hate bullies. It was his old soul that made him want to be a soldier. He saw that in life there are things that hold a value beyond material things and money. I remember watching him so deep in thought at times that I would wonder what could be so serious for him to think about at his young age. It wasn’t a deep worried thought but a pondering thought. You just see on his face he was wrestling with life questions. Questions most 18 and 19 years olds don’t consider. While his peers were worried about what to wear or how to impress the girl he was thinking about how to make the world better. How to leave his mark upon the world.
Maybe it was his love of history that gave him that old soul. But then maybe his love of history came from his old soul. Come to think of it I think he was born an old soul and that lead to his seeking answers through studying history. Either way Micheal was unique. I know that is a silly statement as all people are unique. But when people ask me to describe who Micheal was I truly find it hard to find the right words. He was someone you had to experience to understand. He was funny and strong and wise and tough and gentle. He could make you smile through your tears. He could make you laugh no matter how pissed off you were. He could be in an absolutely terrifying situation and bring calm. He could break your heart with a word and then put it back together with another.
He always found it hard to accept Anthony was disabled, or so I thought. He would say often that Anthony would be fine he just did things in his own time in his own way. He saw in Anthony an intelligence you can’t measure with test they give at school. It took me a little longer to see it. Anthony can read people. He may never read a book but that boy can read people. In a very short time Anthony figures out ever button a person has and how to push them to get his desired result. Micheal saw that in Anthony before anyone else. And Micheal saw that that ability was what was how Anthony would be just fine in time. Micheal’s old soul wisdom saw that in Anthony.. but young Micheal didn’t quite know how to express it.
Maybe the fact that Micheal had such an old soul was why he had to die so young. Seems a waste that such a wise and intelligent person should have to die so young, when he could have done so much more to make this a better world.