This I Believe

Paul - Vallejo, California
Entered on September 20, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50


Dear John:

How shall I begin a letter to someone I have never met, nor ever will meet on this earth. Someone who shares my middle name, but little else. What do I say to my shadow, or it to me?

First, here is what I know of you:

You died when we were born. Both of us were born premature and underdeveloped twins. For some reason life claimed me and death kept you for his own. Like a groom that loses his bride before the wedding, our relationship never had a chance. Perhaps you are the person I have long reached out for in my moments of great sorrow and of even greater joy. You are the silence and the empty space that others somehow cannot fill. You are the tap on my shoulder that disappears when I turn around. You are the question that has no answer.

I do not know why we were seperated at the time and way we were. All I know is that you left this place and I stayed on. You must have your journey to make, and I have mine. Too bad our separate sojourns could not have been one and the same. Too bad we couldn’t at least compare notes…

What I regret most is that you can’t directly experience your family the way that I have. John, they are such wonderful people! You would be proud of them all.

And I can’t help wondering what you would have thought of me? I wonder if we would have had different, clashing personalities, or if we would have been inseparable and indistinguishable? Would you have approved of my choices, or even cared? Would I have known your thoughts before you worded them? Would you have given me advice that changed the direction of my life?

I wish you had been there the times I lied and was selfish; the times I hurt the feelings of others, or acted out in anger. Perhaps you would have been able to stop me from behaving like a child when I should have been a man, or kept me more child-like when I became too serious a man. I wish you could have seen me in my moments of triumph – when I made people smile and laugh. I wish you could have been at my college graduation and my wedding, seen my children born, and traveled the world with me. I wish you somehow were able to hug each of the people I have been blessed to know and love – for your arms and your heart would be full!

I wish I could turn one day from the tap on my shoulder and see you standing there; someone like me but yet different – a knowing smile stretched across your mischievous face. I wish we could run and roughhouse together just once. There is so much I want to tell you…

When all is said and done I cannot have these things. I cannot have you standing next to me. As much as I miss you, our paths are not to cross in this life. We will have to wait until the hereafter to compare notes.

So in the meantime be patient, John, and believe in me.

I have some unfinished business here yet, but one day I will come for you and we will finally be together.

Wishing you a lifetime of love and a Happy Birthday!

Your brother,

Paul John