You know something…if life is anything like this past weekend, then it’s never too late to have a dreams come true! To all of you who are in the middle of celebrating the last of the holidays, I send you my regards.
Let me ask you this: Have you ever had a dream that you held on to all your life? Did you feel like it would change your whole life if it came true? Has something happened to you that reminded you that life was worth living to the fullest? Well, all of this has happened to me, and I feel so lucky and blessed to be alive.
It started last Saturday, after returning from the farmer’s market. My mom told me she couldn’t wait until Sunday to give me my birthday present. She handed me an envelope; inside was a birthday card, but inside the card was a note that said “Pack your bag. We’re going on an adventure!” I had no idea what she meant; all she told me was to pack an overnight bag, ’cause we were driving up North for a couple of hours.
This was actually a big step for me at one time. It has been said that people on the spectrum have a hard time adjusting to surprises and changes in routine. That was true for me when I was younger. Even today, I don’t know how I did it, but I got to a point where I could deal with changes and surprises a lot better.
I was driven north to L.A. Then we pulled into the J.W. Marriott hotel in the L.A Live area, and the first surprise was that we were staying in this amazingly luxurious hotel for the night. After checking in, we went up to our room, where another surprise awaited. Before I knew what was happening, Mom pulled out a folder where there was a paper in it. I read it and my eyes went wide with amazement. There on the paper was a confirmation for two tickets to see Stevie Wonder at a concert to benefit his charity, House Full of Toys!
I just about went ballistic when I saw the tickets! To see Stevie Wonder perform has always been a dream of mine since I was probably 10 years old! Something about his poetic lyrics and spiritual vibe has always resonated with me. I just knew that I would be seeing a legend who has performed with so many other artists I admire.
Later that night, we took a stroll around L.A. Live and had dinner at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant. We went inside the Nokia Theater and were in for a treat. Stevie Wonder was hosting the event, with colorful comedy provided by Steve Harvey. Special guests included old school R&B singers Little Anthony and the Imperials and Charlie Wilson and the Gap Band. There were quite a few other surprise guests as well; they included Michael McDonald, Hip-Hop singer Drake, and even Justin Bieber!
Of course, when the legend himself was singing, I was thrilled, to say the least. I had waited nearly twenty years for this opportunity, and when it finally happened, I thought it was “bucket list amazing”. I mean, I was so ecstatic for this amazing birthday gift that I could cross it off my list of things I want to do before I die!
Of course, I had no idea that I would get another birthday present on my actual birthday! That morning, before we left, I got to meet my dad at the Agape International Spiritual Center and spend some quality time with him. Before we went home, we found a local Indian restaurant with a vegetarian menu and I enjoyed a delicious birthday meal before the weekend was done.
As Christmas comes to a close for me, I reflect on what’s happened to me so far. More than just seeing a concert, I had a dream come true. Even more so, I spent some quality time with my dad. We have not always gotten along in the past, but I could feel that for the past few years, we both have made progress on bridging the divide between us, and this time together was one of the best gifts I could receive.
Like an egotistical fool, I could talk on and on about the material gifts, but really, they were just the icing on the cake of the real gifts I received. For me, my birthday and Christmas have been days of spiritual invigoration. I reflect on how the year has been one of personal growth and remind myself of what I can make happen in the coming year. What I continued to receive this year is the company of a family that loves me, and the reassurance that I have blessings that some people do not have.
If this is any indication as to what I have going for me, then I don’t think I need much else to be fulfilled. After spending time with my dad, I realize how rarely we see each other. I’m looking forward to making progress and mending our bonds. I also realized that every year at Christmas, I have enjoyed riding in the car with mom, and going to the house where the family Christmas Eve party happens.
As long as I’ve been alive, I can still feel the magic of that car ride. It’s because of that ride that I treasure the Christmas memories even more, because Mom has always been a constant beacon of love and care. She outdid herself this year, when she took me on a ride for my birthday and made one of my greatest dreams come true after twenty years. Until such time as she has left this mortal coil, I hope that the tradition of the ride to the family Christmas party continues for years to come.
I have so much to live for; I’m going to continue on my journey, and I’ll be worrying less about when things happen, because I learned that when I’m open to receiving, God and the Universe will grant me my desires when the time is right.
To all my readers out there, I hope that Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa have been special for you as well. Every year I count my blessings and rejoice in the happiness when I see others do the same, especially when they draw closer to their friends and loved ones. I will be back with another post before the year is over. After the blessings of this year, I know that more reflection is due when the time comes. I have much to look back upon, and much more to look forward to.