The Boy Who Grew Up to Be a Hero

Mordor, they called him, a cruel nickname but meant as a joke. They saw darkness in him even then, childhood often an unrevelatory time. How much glee he took to acts of aggression during playground games. How his tantrums took on a hysterical strain and desperate grievance at times. How his humor centered on the misfortune of others.

Most damning, he coveted the iron comfort of control, that every situation and its participants should appease him without even a whimper. In his eyes, his decrees wore their own crown.

I remembered all of this far removed into adulthood but spoke none of it when he passed away at a less than ripe age. Instead, at his wake I spoke of how the diagnosis of a disease that would most probably conquer him had shaken him only for a modest moment. His resolve to not only live on but still thrive bloomed titanic before our eyes. “I’d never met someone so brave.”

It was his fiancee however who related the “real reason” for his childhood nickname. “Even in the greatest darkness,” her voice rose to the ceiling, her grief defiant, “there is a place of greater hope beckoning to us.”

Do we live only one life or many of them interwoven? We trail so much uncertainty as we walk this world. I remain as present as I am able no matter how mundane the events of the day. Yet some part of me though comforted wants to plummet back into the magma of my origin.


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