Emily is out in the cold. Her eyes are pinned to the sky. She’s gazing at the stars as crickets and the sound of nature permeate her surroundings. She’s a young girl battling leukemia.
Her friend Jason walks up to her and starts small talk. He then squats by her side and continues with his chitchat before he asks, “So sweetie, what’s your dream? If you could dream of anything, anything, what would your dream be?”
Unmoved, with her eyes still staring at the stars, Emily says, “My dream, my dream is a perfect day.” She lowers her head to look at Jason who’s squatting at her side. “And I’m just finishing it,” she continues. She goes on to say her dream is to be with people she loves, those who love each other and love her.
That scene in the movie, The Ultimate Gift, has played in my mind for over seven years now. Those words from that little girl have never left my heart. They’ve grown into a deep taproot in my core and extended a stronger meaning of life to me. A sentence from a film transformed my view on having a dream.
So what’s my dream?
My dream is to be a good son to my mother, a child who stayed true to himself, and didn’t let his mom down. [If you’re asking why I haven’t said my paps here, it’s because he returned to the soil a quarter a century ago.] My dream is to be a pillar of hope to my brother Christopher, a support structure he can count on, one that can defend him and show him love. My dream is to be a continuous helping hand to my family, that for as long as I live, they’ll never lack when I’m in position to provide. That I’ll be a grandson, a nephew, cousin and an uncle who will be there for his people when I can.
And when I marry, my dream is to live a long life with my wife, that against the tides and odds, we’ll stay true to each other. That we’ll talk through challenges and work things out together. That we’ll understand that each of us has flaws and we’ll forgive each other for the wrongs we might have committed. And that we’ll thrive together. That my children will know me as their father, a father who loved them and showed them a great example. A father who helped them explore the possibilities of who they can become in life. A dad who loved their mom. A father who held their hands when they were afraid. A dependable dad. A dad who rebuked them with love when they messed up. That amidst a storm, I stood still and protected my family.
I want to be that friend who can be counted on and trusted.
My dream is to be every employer’s dream employee. That I’ll do the best I can at every job I’m blessed with. That I’ll bring growth and progress at every role I’m given. That I’ll lift those around me, share opportunities, open doors for others to progress and rise. That I’ll be a mentor who’ll commit to the essence of what mentorship should be, staying the course, listening, providing counsel and immersing myself in the process.
That I’ll stay humble, courteous and faithful to God.
My dream is to be a source of joy, hope, and smiles to humanity. That on my death bed, I’ll wear a smile and still be able to sing along to Frank Sinatra’s My Way.
“Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way.”