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This is a story of losing faith, finding it, then losing it again.

Preface

This has the feel of a long article.  It will therefore be broken into parts.

Now that all my handwritten journals are gone, this blog will be the only personal record I will leave of my journey on top of planet Earth.  It is only fitting that it should be so.  I want to leave nothing of this existence with my name attached to it.  I am sure that it would surprise very few people that “Hamilton” is a pen name.

I will die unsung and unloved.  As legacies go, this will have to serve.  Res Ipsa Loquitor

At one time, I did not believe it to be so.  In my youth I dreamed and schemed of being world famous.  As I aged I longed and auditioned for a soul mate with whom I could grow old.

Don’t be fooled.  We all die alone no matter how close we are to anyone.  I witnessed it in the death of a son and both parents.  I witnessed it in the street among people I never knew.  I have witnessed it in its peaceful and in its violent aspects.  I held the one person who loved me more than any other person in the world and felt the life go out of them.  I could not share that moment with them.  All I could do was stand and watch them go.  Even if I could have died myself at the very instant they did, it still would have been a completely individual experience.  We all die alone.

Depressed yet?

I will go back 12 years and begin there.  It was just as though it was yesterday to me, and I know that to many others in my age group, 12 years is as nothing or very little.  A great deal has happened in that short time span.  That makes it all the more amazing that so much could happen in what feels like a mere round the dial trip of the clock.

Folks considerably younger than I feel and express that they think that I and others in my generational cohort are exaggerating to say such things about the shortening of time as more and more of it accumulates.  And to an extent they are right.

Of course the time passed in 12 years feels more than 24 hours.  But, it feels a hell of a lot closer to 24 hours than 12 years did to me 30 years ago.  30 years ago, 12 years was half my damn life.  30 years ago, 12 years prior to that found me just beginning puberty. 30 years ago, 12 years felt like an eternity and I found it incomprehensible what life would be like 12 years after that.

Now at 55 years old, 12 years ago is damn near just 20% of my life.  12 years ago found me married to my second wife and the father of three children and grandfather to two.

That is all very philosophical though and has very little to do with the subject at hand.  The subject at hand is the course of my life over the last 12 years that has brought me to this point, which is but a tick of the clock (relatively) from the end of my life.

I can’t ask those of you with feelings not to be sad as I relate my tale.  I would rather you didn’t but I do understand and appreciate the sentiment.  It would be foolish of me to say that there has not been a great deal of sadness on my own part.  But sadness is finally almost gone.  Present now are feelings of relief at the finality of it all.  Present now are feelings of impending freedom.  The physical and spiritual pain, and the feelings of incredible frustration and failure are lessened almost immeasurably by the anticipation of the end of all such misery.

The whole 12 years was not one great and long purgatory.  There were moments — long and short — of great triumphs and joys.  In the balance I would say the good outweighs the bad by a long shot.  It is the undeniable certainty of the end of potential for goodness that moves me to create this blog and relate now this story of Losing Faith.

(To Be Continued)

Click to proceed to Part II

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