Until a little while ago, I would have swore that the only way you could understand this is if you had been through what I’d been through.
I was in her bedroom; actually standing in the bathroom, looking in the mirror. This is where they had found them both. The window had been cracked, as though someone had tried to punch their way out. But now everything appeared, as it was the day before. Mom stood by the bedside in the middle of the room.
I burst out in uncontrollable tears. She rushed by my side and cradled me in her arms.
“I understand,” she said, rocking me in her arms as I sobbed uncontrollably. I looked up and now I was sitting on the curb of a street that ran in front of the school I was attending when everything happened. I looked into the sky and saw a line of clouds, all in the shape of train cars, from the steam engine to the caboose. Mom stood over me, beside me.
“I’ve got to go now,” she said. I looked up again at the train-shaped clouds as they became more defined and heavenly. “You’ll be okay.”
I woke up from that dream some eleven years ago. I looked in the mirror the other day; my cheeks were worn and tired, where scraggly black and gray sprout from the sides of my face, my chin, my neck. My hair is filled with gray and falling out. My dark eyes reflect the vestiges of youth that told a different story a decade ago. There is a man now, yet with the same thoughts from before. I think about how this used to be her day; actually it was their day. I wonder if Mom was still standing beside me, would my hair be so gray at this time of life? Would I have known what mistakes not to make along the way?
The other day I sent a message to Aqua Boogie, asking her to think of me in her prayers as I wrestled with the fact that their day was approaching and they were no longer here. She replied:
"I know it's tough, but just know that they are your guardian angels now. They are always around you and taking care of you... I really do believe that once our physical life is over, it's the beginning of our true soul life."
How did she know? I think she chose to be there with me. I look back at the eleven years since I last saw them, and I've endured much chaos and hardship, but I survived, got on my feet and embarked on a career in entertainment. Now, I'm about to take a huge step in my journey by premiering my first directorial project; a spec commercial to debut on YouTube in short time. This is what I set out to do when I came to New York, and this is what I'm about to do. And throughout that time, A Boogie has been my friend, the one who can flip the script with her thoughts. And she reminded that Mom & Terry had been doing the same, and continue to do so all my life.
There is no off-switch for love, for pain or for guilt. But if I didn't have Mom & Terry to watch over me, and A Boogie to remind me, what's the point? I love all of you; thanks for being here. Happy Birthday, Mom & Terry!