Loveliest of lovely things are they on earth that soonest pass away. William Cullen Bryant

What bad stories did Junior hear? Did his parents berate him? Did they blow smoke up his us, so that when he needed to understand he wasn’t perfect, he didn’t have the skills to comprehend the inaccuracy of the things his parents told him? It’s hard to know because Junior is dead and he never let anyone know what stories led him to the grave.

What we know, Junior loved to drink. Whiskey was his choice and it interfered with his life to the point where he spent several stints in the detention center and lost his license to drive. That made working tough, as he was a handyman with a buffet of skills. Too bad he didn’t have a way to get to his jobs and the liquor store was just a short walk away.

He left a wife and stepdaughter, yet nobody knew much about either. All who knew Junior commented on his abilities. He could fix any car. He’d listen to the motor and diagnose the problem right away. His mother thought he got that from her father, but she wasn’t so sure. Others remarked that he laid the perfect line with bricks, an informally trained stonemason who just had a knack for putting rocks, bricks, and tiles right where they needed to be. Carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, Junior could do it all.

But he loved to drink. He would put away a fifth like it was water and before long he would be drunk and unable to get home without risking a date with the law. Then he had a seizure and his speech started to go. His thirst remained. His work was still high quality, but his ability to get where he needed to go was gone.

Junior then told himself more bad stories. He talked to himself about being a failure, a burden, and a waste. A few loyal friends asked God to intervene in Junior’s life, but Junior seemed to think that he had pissed the big fella off and that no help was coming. It was only with Old Grand Dad that Junior could escape and after the seizure, he spent time with his firebrand grandfather.

There are too many Juniors out there…