Make no mistake, life can change in the blink of an eye and just like that, everything is different. As a young man, I swore The Old Man would always be around. I never expected him to pass or my family’s business to go under.
I never saw my Father’s death coming. I never saw the bankruptcy of his business coming or the theft of all my family’s worth coming.
If you had asked me, I would have sworn this would have been my future. Only, my future was changed two weeks before Christmas in 1989 when The Old Man had his first heart attack.
It is true. So many of us fall short of our dreams and live secretly or privately unsatisfied. It is also true that many of us fail to step forward. We fail to try or dare to risk the odds of disappointment.
I came across a quote this morning. I was listening to random motivational speakers so that I could A, improve my own life and B, learn more and improve my own motivational abilities.
So now the fad has changed. Now it’s vaping. It used to be smoking. And now it’s the products because let’s face it, everything is based on style and the different variations of what’s cool.
I sat with a small group of people and someone asked, “How old were you when you smoked a cigarette for the first time?”
And me, I was in grade school at the time. I was this little prepubescent kid, smaller than everyone else my age, and I appeared to look much younger than the rest of my class.
I am here, now, and working on a new form of treatment with a team that fights to see results and does not give up until the end results are achieved. I am far from home now.
Don’t get me wrong, California is beautiful but I am still just a New York kid at heart.
I saw a few pictures on social media and then penned my thoughts, which, by the end, I found myself teary-eyed for more reasons than I have time to explain.
But as I was thinking, I took to my video blog and spoke out loud. However, now I have come here to lay the passion in my voice to rest.
Instead, I will speak plainly and honestly and lovingly, with all my heart and hope this message finds its place in the hearts of those who need it most.
Years back, I would go to a small pond not too far away from the town where I grew up. I went with my cousin Craig and tossed bread to the ducks and the geese.
This was a religious time of year for my family. These were the High Holy days in my family’s religion and a time for reflection. This was a time for atonement and to atone for the things we did to the people we love. This is time for amends; to become even with the house from a spiritual perspective. This was the Day of Atonement in the religion I grew up with.
What does it mean to live? Think about this. It’s really a simple question. The answer should be equally simple too. What does the word “Live” mean? What else could it mean other than to have a life, to be alive, or adversely, to not be dead.
But what does it mean to die? It has been argued by me on several occasions that we die in many ways. We experience death while living alive—and some people live lifelessly, always following, always wishing they were someone, somewhere, or someplace else. What kind of life is that?
The news came and I could not move. Time took on a strange appeal. I was frozen somehow, moving in slow motion, but yet, time was quickly ticking away from me.
I was young at the time. I was only 17 years-old but stunted in a way—like a child, or more accurately, I was stunned and child-like, almost like an infant’s pause before the pain strikes and the cry begins.
It was December and I was away in a place that was very foreign to me. I was on The Farm in lieu of jail, which would have been a sentence of one year, plus 90 days.
This meant I would have to serve close to one year in a place where I could neither physically nor mentally compete. I pulled a trick though. Or should I say my attorney pulled a trick. He landed me in a program called T.A.S.K. which was an acronym for something that helps young, first-time offenders with a youthful offender stipulation that would eventually falls from the records of past.