From a young age, we were told we can be anything we want. We were told we could be an astronaut. We could be a fireman. We could be a doctor or a lawyer. We were told we can be anything.
All we had to do is apply ourselves.
I was thinking about that small place I stayed in. This was a while ago in Fort Lauderdale on the beach. I was not too far away from The Ritz and some of the other glamorous hotels.
In fact, I was only few blocks away. I was down the street from the beach and witness to the morning sunrise.
It was pretty here. Of course it was. I was on the beach seeing beautiful things during an intense time.
But oh, how the ocean does wonderful things. I swear the sound of the waves rushing in was perfect enough to cleanse me the same way the waves cleanse the sands.
There are times when I am scrolling through my phone to find a number. I come across a word that means more to me than almost anything. Sometimes, I begin dialing a number and due to the technical intelligence of my cell phone, the dialing screen shows suggestions of whom I might be calling. Every so often, I begin to dial a similar number and the word pops on the screen.
The number I come across is not titled with a name of a client or a friend or anyone else.
The word that comes on the screen is Mom.
I know you don’t know me very well, but I needed to at least try and get this message to you.
Somewhere, way up beyond your stars and past all the planets and all the galaxies is a place where I think about.
I dream of this place. It is someplace where all my lost toys are found. This is where my first dog lives.
Her name was Tammy. She died when I was only 7. Somewhere up there is a farm where my dog Sheba runs around. She was a big black lab. She plays in the field because she has so much room to run around and be free. I know this because when I was a little boy, Mom told me this is where Sheba went after she couldn’t live with us anymore.
Just about an hour or so before sunrise and the rainfall has not let up. Safe to say that I am only on an hour of sleep. It is also safe to say that with the hour being what it is, it doesn’t look like I will sleep at all. But such is life, I guess.
The days are moving closer now and soon enough, the day will be here. Christmas Day. And now is the time for the last minute dashes to the stores. The lines are long and the shopping is certainly intense.
I had just come down with a case of the flu. I felt the aches and pains in my legs and at the bottom of my back. Earlier, it was clear that I was not feeling well but I had no idea what was on its way.
In any case, I was out and about before the sickness took hold. We were a day away from Christmas and I headed out to hear my friend’s band play for a few hours.
After my visit home to see The Old Man at the hospital, I went back up to the farm and back to my routine. It was strange for me to be home again. It was strange because I was able to see what I was and able to see the remnants of what I had done. All around my rooms were tiny fragments of proof. It was uncomfortable to see my bedroom and realize the secrets, which I tried to keep. It was strange to feel regretful of me and my youth and strange to realize that yes, this was not a dream. It was all real. It was strange to see my mother and my brother.More than anything, it was strange to see The Old Man in the coronary care unit. I felt a switch in me— it was as though something was turned off or shut down.