As of tomorrow, having spent twenty-two years, nine months and eight days on this floating speck in space that we call “earth,” I will be one month older than my father was when he passed away. In previous posts I have mentioned how this blog, and by extension my life, is in many ways a tribute to his memory. Recently, I came across some wise words written by the 19th century American abolitionist and poet John Greenleaf Whittier:
"Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been."
Over a hundred years later, another writer with the astonishingly similar name, John Green, wrote:
"Some infinities are bigger than other infinities."
For reasons beyond my control, by some grand maneuver orchestrated by God or the cosmos or whatever you may call it, I have been fortunate enough to witness my infinity last a little longer than my father’s infinity. His might have been’s are quickly becoming my realities.
At my age, Michael Matthews was a husband, a father, a veteran, a salesman, a chamber of commerce member, and by many accounts, a good man. At my age, I, Mason Matthews, have been a college student, a world traveler, a writer, a dreamer, and by some accounts, though not without valid criticism, a good man.
So where do I go now? I have several ideas, but no way of knowing for sure what may be of tomorrow and all the tomorrow’s from here. What I am certain of is this:
When I die, I want my heart to violently burst apart with love. I want my lungs to suffocate with overwhelming eruptions of laughter. I want my brain to rupture with unrestrained wisdom and I want my tears to drown me in an overwhelming flood of compassion. I want to have lived without reservation and I want to die without regret.
We all exist, but how few of us have truly lived?
After living and traveling for sixty-eight days across ten countries, tomorrow I’m coming home to you, America.