Let’s face it we all have dreams. Most of us with kids have dreams for our children. At some time we have all probably dreamed about winning the lottery as if that would solve all of our problems. When I was little I wanted to be a professional bowler like Earl Anthony. That didn’t happen but I did win a state championship when I was 13 and bowled until I no longer could. Then I wanted to be on stage playing the drums in a rock band like Rush, the Who, or U2. I did jam in bands during high school and college and an occasional set at a bar or wedding I was at. I also had a friend who has a mixing studio at his home where I played to the album 2112 by Rush. He removed Neil Peart’s drumming out and added my drumming in to make a tape of me playing the album with Rush if that makes sense. Today I just have one selfish dream and that is to live out my father’s dream that he was never able to make happen which is to take a trip to Italy to see where his parents were born.
My oldest son Dan is currently working at living out his dream of being an Air Force officer flying for our country. His dream started at the age of thirteen when he saw the Blue Angels. This week he will be participating in senatorial interviews in hopes of being nominated for an appointment to the Air Force Academy. I have no doubt he will achieve his goal no matter what the path is that gets him there.
Walt Disney had a dream and because of that we all can make our dreams come true at Walt Disneyworld. Some of our best vacations happened in Orlando Florida through the eyes of our children while visiting Disneyworld. No matter what age you are, Disney World has something for you and your dreams. The closest my father had gotten to visiting Italy was at Epcot. That was where my brother and sisters and I had dinner with my father and mother in “Italy” at Epcot during a family vacation. What a moment that was, and what a great memory to this day.
One of my father’s lifelong dreams was to visit where his mom and dad were born. Unfortunately that never happened. You see, my father and I have lived very parallel lives. I knew of his dream but as a father of six in a middle class family he knew financially he couldn’t swing a trip to Italy. Instead, we had wonderful family vacations usually by way of the family station wagon. After college I promised my father that one day I would save enough money to take him to Italy. Before that could happen he was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease that would weaken his muscles to the point that he could no longer walk. Italy is not very accessible by wheelchairs either. I felt bad that my promise was not kept and made him a new promise before he died. One day I would go in his place and visit his nephew who is a priest in Italy as well as his parent’s birthplaces and family still there. Like most people I assumed I had a lifetime to achieve this promise until a muscle cramp four years ago turned into an ALS diagnosis. Much like my father, my body is failing me. However my legs are still strong enough to get me through Italy’s topography. But now time is not on my side. I plan to be here for a long time but I have no idea how long my legs will have the strength to get me through me and my father’s dream. There are many reasons not to plan a trip like this mainly financial, vacation time, and timing. But if I don’t do it I will have failed myself. So I don’t know how it will happen, but I will achieve my dream in 2012. The last trip that was taken by me without children were eleven years ago and Italy will be the first and last trip without them for a very long time.
So what’s my point? We live in a country where dreams can and do come true. With a little hard work, determination, and support, you can probably achieve yours too. Maybe you always wanted to play an instrument, or get a degree, or own a home. Before it’s too late determine the steps needed to achieve that dream and make it happen. When it is over move on to your next dream and make that happen too. I already have my next dream in mind but it is a secret until Italy is complete. I hope all your dreams come true.