The New Year will definitely bring about contemplation, regrets, and thoughts of happiness and sadness. All of us have ups and downs. This is a part of the process we accurately label as Life.
Many lives have been literally destroyed by the economic downturn and 10 percent unemployment rate. Actually, both have been impetus to the wreckage. Wreckage that eventually becomes our past. But, how do we move on from foreclosure, divorce, repossession, levies, and all the other consequences of America’s inevitable mess? How do we rectify our lives when the last year in a decade may not bring about meaningful employment, fair bank loans, better salaries, affordable health insurance, and rejuvenated spiritual faith? The questions are endless and answerless when there is so much uncertainty and a fading hope.
Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the holiday season. It is a reminder to have fun, enjoy life, and be thankful that my mother is still with us, alive. Without her I cannot imagine going on. Life for me will end. It would be over without Mary Catherine Scott. Believe me, when I say “over” I don’t mean that I will cease to exist. I am sure I will live on, with my mother’s spirit, in me. I am also sure that many more wrecks will occur as a result of her unavailable guidance.
A long lost friend rode home with me the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day. On the ride up we had a joyous time reminiscing about our lives growing up in Thomasville, North Carolina. The good times and the bad. The drama we caused for ourselves - and the unfortunate pain we caused for others.
It was an easy drive partly because we lost track of the minutes and miles. I am so thankful my lack of attention to Interstate 85 did not cause a wreck.
Wreck – What is the first thought you have when you read that word?
I envision and think of a car accident.
During the ride home Jonathan (not real name) talked about his adult life with such conviction. He is well aware of his mistakes, mishaps, and what affect they have had on his life. They have brought a unique - and appreciated humility. I found it intriguing that Jonathan has been through so much e.g. prison, homelessness, and unemployment. Despite all this wreckage he still generates such pleasantness just with his presence.
He had no idea that I was hanging onto every single word, phrase, and statement. I told him, “You are writing my year end commentary.”
In four and half hours I learned so much. I have been to two highly touted universities; and I must admit that one of the best professors I have had was Jonathan. He earned the best description without charging me $80,000. The outrageous cost of my ‘schooling’.
The ride was summed up with 5 words.
The Wreckage of Our Past
Our past will come back to haunt us. That is a fact. Your past is what you have to build a new you. It can be used as a cleansing and/or purification. Our past is littered with fender benders and total lost wrecks. It is our responsibility to drive carefully while on earth to avoid the wrecks. Yes, some are unpreventable – but the carefulness we implore can ease impacts.
As I prepared to drive back to Atlanta, Georgia with my favorite Professor I received a dreadful call from Jonathan. He was calling to inform me that his mother died. The second comment from him in between weeps was, “I am so thankful I had the opportunity to apologize to her for the pain my PAST caused. I was wrong then…and I made peace with her.”
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by a ride I will NEVER forget. Thank you, Jonathan.
Happy Old Year!