Sandlot Several years ago the shoe company “Keds” had an advertising campaign that simply asked some questions. I don’t know why it has stuck with me all these years, but it was great marketing. Featured in the commercial was a small girl with her Keds on and the narrator simply said things like:

“What size Keds will you be wearing when you lose your first tooth?”

“What size Keds will you be wearing when you meet your first boyfriend?”

“What size Keds will you be wearing when the first of your friends gets married?”

What captured me in this 30 second spot is how we were presented with the reality that life happens. Time moves on and things and people change. I have always shared the journey in this blog and this post is the result of several days of reflecting on the loss of a childhood friend. Someone that was like a brother to me through my high school years.

I guess the past few days I have been wondering when we lost the innocence of our youth? What happened to the times when we ran with our “crew” and didn’t worry about the things we worry about now? When phone calls at 1am didn’t scare you that it might be bad news. When you didn’t fear doctors, dentists or the things that would cause you to need to see either one of them. We stayed out late, drove without seat belts, ate what we wanted and lived without the fear. Somewhere, somehow, some time ago, that changed and so did we.

We can’t live our life looking back, but it only takes a twist of fate to remember and reflect on the past. Tragedy should not be the thing that makes “the old gang” get together. What are the miles that separated the gang in the first place? I wonder if it can be found at the same place and time as the end of the innocence.

“Who knows how long this will last?

Now we’ve come so far so fast.

Somewhere back there in the dust

That same small town in each of us.” – Don Henley