The wisdom of Invictus is found in the meaning of its message; and the fury of its delivery, invoke the challenge of our journey toward accepting the message. Every day that we live, lengthens our timeline, and although most would like to live a long and healthy life, it is not the length that defines us and should concern us, but rather, it is the moments that dot our timelines that matters most, since they contain the information of the people and events that shape our lives.
I was born in 1966 in a metropolis at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The 3rd child of what would become a clan of six, to an incredibly proud, beautiful, and intensely caring mother. Papa was a rolling stone, so I would not get to know him until years later, but by then, I was fully grown. My stepfather kept his hat in one place, but his contribution to my upbringing was nonexistent. But nonetheless, may he be resting in peace. We moved to the west coast at age eleven, leaving behind a very close-knit extended family. My Grandmother’s house would be our last stop in saying goodbye, making 1978 my second memorable moment, since by default, 1966 is first.
Some moments are so powerful, they exist in a part of the mind beyond the consciousness of our control, nor do they go to the darkness of memory suppression. They simply exist as a part of us, and come and go with free will. In 1994, my brother was shot and killed a few blocks away from the family home. The intensity of the pain, I was sure, would sweep our family away with the nightmare too. But we had lived in Sacramento for over 15 years by then, and friends we made through the years and the community where we lived, provided the strength and love we needed. Time would pass, like it always does, and the pain would release its iron grip. Perhaps, the power of the moment created in 1994 assures that I will always remember my little brother.
At age 48, our bodies go through changes, our knees start to ache and we realize, our life is half over, so we change the way we think. We become analytical, not to be judgemental, but to put the knowledge we have accumulated into perspective, not having time nor energy to repeat the same mistakes. And with eyes opened a little wider, centered outside of a pretentious self, we become more aware of the importance of a loving family and the moments we have shared. In the year 2014, I would attend my 30 year class reunion, on a boat christened the Delta King, on the moonlit waters of a river named Sacramento. And I assumed a moment was being created.
Thirty years after pomp and circumstance, and singing our fight song – all hail the mighty Pacers – I was once again with the people who knew me most. We stood like brothers on the football field, and every Friday when we battled, it was us against them. We celebrated our victories and held on to one another enduring the misery of agony’s defeat together. We knew each another’s first love, we were together when we experienced our first heartbreak. We spent all night at each others homes, we shared our lunch without thought, and we would dress up for one another on prom night. We were together during our formative years, and the bond created as kids could not be broken, and the strength of our embrace was unconditional love we felt, and the magic of the moment in 2014 had already been created back in 1984, and the revelation, that these people were not just my classmates, but were my family, was overwhelming.
– Kendall F. Person
Class of 84