If I Ever Make it, I’ll Remember You.

Childhood Promises are Forever

Childhood Promises are Forever

Lutz Elementary 1988
Class Photo | Courtesy of old classmate Doug Wilson

Who hasn’t made this statement?

Probably the rich. I don’t know.

Maybe it was growing up in front of late night tube TV in the last millennia, while Don Lapre flashed infomercials about his making millions money package.


Nine… ten-years-old, blonde, Lutz, Florida mullet, coming up with ways to make a million dollars.

I remember collecting lizards, ants, mice, birds even, in a feeble attempt to one-day open our own neighborhood zoo. There was the land for it. We had a bit more than an acre.

A lake stretched out beyond the dock dad had built, which replaced the old dilapidated one left behind the mansion.

A mansion is what they called it, the other kids.

Dad always just said, we were rich in things, not in money. But, when you have your own personal tennis court, well, someone’s blowing smoke.

I may have been ashamed for being rich back then. Having all that money, and having no idea what I was suppose to do with it. Well, it wasn’t my money. It was my dad’s. But he’d often give us some. Then I’d blow it trying to make more, despite his dismay.

Was: a good linking verb, past-tense for be.
Cuz over the years, things dwindled away… I’m broke and proud.

At least now I fit in. Perhaps my shame of money led to this?
Then it’s really all my fault.

No. But really, once I turned a teen I went to work, left, lived on my own, ruined my credit. Dad didn’t do much better. They’re living on social security now, so whatever was once, was lost.

It’s nice to be a part of the people you were always just trying to make happy. We’re still happy, right?

I kinda like that.

I don’t remember a lot. And it’s a shame. Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess. And maybe the best times, we always take for granted, or with a salt and a lime. Easily and quickly forgotten.

But, I met an old friend, Doug, who remembers everything.

And, it’s embarrassing! What kind of arrogant anus was I back then? I have no idea! And what’s scarier is, do I have to become that person again if I’m ever going to be rich again? Healthy? Worry free? Arrogant?

Not arrogant again!

Jesus, where has Lutz Lake Fern, FL 1988 been? Where’d it go?

The library, the firehouse, the community center?

Maybe sin has piled up? But, I was saved. Baptized. Dunked.

Who knows.

But, you know, it all comes back to family. Who has your back? Who’s gonna wash your back?

Why did people use to always wash the lord’s feet?

Because, God is good. And in the end we all serve.

I remember you, my friends.

There is going to be a long bibliography eventually. If there’s even going to be an eventually

You’ll get credit where it is due.

The old adage still holds true.

It’s my turn to serve and wash backs and feet…

I was skeptical when I first started writing.

I really didn’t think what I put on paper might actually have the power to materialize things into being.

But I’ve signed some birth certificates…

And one day, so may they.

Now that I am confident, I am going to do something that I have not done in twenty years.

I am going to start a new chapter.

That’s right. If my life’s a book, I’m gonna turn the page.

I’m going to step into the unknown, and settle down by the hearth with an old man and woman and see what stories we can remember together.

And all will be well.

And I am a writer.

And God is good.

I think about what it would be like if all my writing finally paid off. What would it do for me?


You know what it would do? It would make me more available to others.

And I think they need me.

Perhaps, as bad as I need God.

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Jay Horne is an author and publisher out of Bradenton, Florida. He is a husband and father of four.
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