I have known Tommy for about five years. I watched him grow from an awkward pre-teen to an articulate young man. I have seen his family struggle with health issues, accidents, injuries, and death of close family members. I’ve seen his parents struggle with providing decent food and adequate housing for Tommy and his brothers, trying to have vehicles to get to work, and having to decide between gas to get to work or events and food for the table.
I’ve seen Tommy’s frustration and anger. Yet he has not given up.
Tommy shared his birthday wish for his 17th birthday this week, but it’s a good wish for all of us. Happy belated birthday, Tommy. I hope you do get your wish of love and understanding for all. Keep up the good work, and don’t let them get you down! I am so very proud of you, and proud to call you my friend.
The world needs more people like this. There IS hope for the future, and Tommy is part of my hope.
It’s the end of my birthday and I’m gathered with my family around the table to eat some of my birthday cake. I lean in to blow out the candles, feeling the heat of the fire on my face, feeling my heart race from the chance my wish will come true, to be heard by a star SO far away that we can’t tell if in fact it’s still there, I feel the warmth from those around me.
So feeling all of these energies I close my eyes and roam my mind to find something to wish for, maybe a game? Maybe a movie? Maybe some new clothes? I wander here for what felt like years but were mere moments to everyone else. Then I get an idea of what to wish for, not a wish to benefit myself, but to benefit others.
So I begin to ponder what the needs of the ones I care most are. I could wish for a big house for my parents and little brother, so they can live out all of their thoughts and dreams that a life stuck in a place they can’t leave from due to money, limits and confines them.
I could wish for my Dad to never have to work another day in his life, and to enjoy the things he wishes he could do.
I could wish for my Mom to never have to worry about what she is going to feed her kids, and to have the clear mind and art supplies needed to paint the whole world if she wants to.
I could wish for my little brother to be able to experience new and amazing things, to be able to share his awesome ideas with everyone.
I could wish for my brother and sister-in-law to be able to leave their jobs and show the world their extraordinary gifts, my brother with his writing, filling the eyes and minds of his readers to make them think, feel, and almost hear the music of the shows he writes about, and my sister in law to be able to share her amazing knowledge to inspire and teach a new generation of thinkers and world-changers, and to able to get any job for their fields they desire.
I could wish for my eldest brother and sister in law and my nephew to be able to get a house and better jobs to be able to explore and experience life with their child, uninterrupted by worries of the world.
But then I begin to delve deeper in thought. Why should my wish just stop with my parents, my brothers and their families? Why not all of my family? Why not my friends? Why not the people I see in the streets? Why not everyone… the animals, and the world as a whole? For they all have thoughts and dreams they will never be able to live.
Then I think that one wish isn’t enough for this big of a request, would a hundred do? A thousand? A million? More? We may in fact never know the answer. So I wonder what do all of these needs have in common, what is the common denominator? Then it hits me, like the universe shot it at me using a tank! The way I can encompass all of these needs in my wish, is to wish for LOVE and UNDERSTANDING from and for all. For all of these things can come true with love and understanding.
So I take my long journey back to the moment I left, and to the others it was as though I never was gone. I close my eyes, take a deep breath in, and blow out the candles with great intensity, almost as if I were to send my wish and the hope of a better world all the way to that star oh so far away, and to help it with it’s an amazingly long trek from my little corner of nowhere, all the way across an ocean of stars to get to the one that will hear my wish.
In closing though, I ask everyone to do the same, and maybe, just maybe, our wishes will come true.
Love always, Tommy G… (now 17 )
Disclaimers: Tommy gave me permission to share his wish. Because Tommy is a minor, I’m not including his last name. I also received permission from his mother to post this article and his photos