Nothing Can Be Accomplished Without Dreams
I was once the little boy who lived in a bubble,
Now I have to face the doctors when my health is in trouble.
I miss the days when I didn't concern myself with death,
Now it's as much a part of my day as stopping to take a breath.
Days pass, I wish they would wait,
But alas, I'm on year thirty-eight.
Some days I wish I could just hit rewind,
Memories of no responsibility enter my mind.
My hair was blonde, then brown, now gray,
My youth grows more distant every day.
A tragedy was once a report card full of C's,
Now it's losing friends to murder or disease.
A decade ago I ran with the Olympic torch,
But my mind still wandered to those old days on my porch.
I sat with my best friend Howard then, the dog with just one trick,
He could turn my day from bad to good with just a single lick.
I miss my days on West Fontainebleau,
Going to school at Kingsley and Mt. Vernon too.
I miss the days when Van Halen ruled,
And seeing my friends at the neighborhood pool.
I remember thinking I would never be on my own,
I'd be living with my parents until I was full grown.
Finally that changed when I was sixteen,
With the arrival of my therapy machine.
I got to go to college where I learned a lot about me,
Confidence was an issue along with irresponsibility.
I wish I'd been stronger and had more fun,
But that part of my life is already done.
That's not to say I have many regrets,
I have a beautiful family and have loved all of my pets.
Statistics told me that I wouldn't see thirteen,
And having children would be a pipe dream.
Life is fair; that much I know,
I just don't understand why we all have to go.
What happens after life, I question it every day.
Do things just turn to black or are we going to be okay?
I tell my kids to always treat people fair,
Yet when it comes to good or bad, death doesn't care.
God has his reasons, he knows our outcome from birth,
He must have bigger things for us once we leave earth.
That's the only explanation I could come up with why,
So many amazing young people in this world unexplicitly die.
That's why we must make the most of our lives,
Appreciate the kisses, hugs and high fives.
I sometimes ponder if I made the right choices,
Did I listen to myself or to too many uncaring voices?
Peer pressure was an issue for me,
I had no idea what I wanted to be.
Sometimes I think about how I will be remembered,
To my parents as their miracle baby who was born one September.
To my kids as a dad who loved to make them laugh,
To my wife who I was blessed to have as my better half.
To my sister, who I wanted to give sage advice,
To my friends, who I wanted to treat them so nice.
Will I be remembered for what I did to combat CF,
Though odds are this disease will take my last breath.
Each day I look in the mirror and it's an older man I see,
I miss the kid whose only concern was watching the Braves on TV.
It's hard to believe that I've been out of high school for twenty,
For the last fifteen years I've been in the real world earning money.
I'm 37 years old and received awards for displaying bravery,
Yet my two biggest trophies are my Ethan and my Avery.
I was given a sentence of twelve years when I arrived,
Yet thirty-seven years later I am still alive.
Why am I here waiting for my thirty-eighth birthday cake?
Yet others have gone; I'm not sure how much more I can take.
I miss my friends, I miss my youth,
I miss dreams of becoming the next Babe Ruth.
I miss feeling I could do no wrong,
I miss feeling that I was too damn strong.
I used to feel invincible but I've seen serious regression,
My cystic fibrosis has gotten stronger and so has my depression.
I'm a better person for having the people in my life,
From hard working parents to a beautiful loving wife.
Each day with me is not always a piece of cake,
Sometimes I need help with the choices that I make.
Along with the positive things, I've made my share of mistakes,
Some resembled tremors, while others were more like earthquakes.
I could recount my poor decisions, but the list is too long,
Certainly I've learned more in life from the things I've done wrong.
Failing doesn't make you a loser, you are defined by your reaction,
Get back up on your feet and avoid any distraction.
Dreams aren't meant to disappoint, they're meant to show us hope,
Don't give up on the possibilities, that's not a healthy way to cope.
I look back at the doctors and now I can laugh,
My life is literally a book, not the predicted paragraph.
I got to have children, I got the joy of experiencing my own wedding,
If I'd bet on those things when I was little, I wonder what odds I'd be getting.
Sometimes I get down when I think of my late sister,
I never got to hug her; I never even kissed her.
While she's a source of my sadness, she also motivates me year round,
To beat this disease in her memory and help CF stand for Cure Found.
I've run the Peachtree Road Race fourteen straight years,
I got to compete in a triathlon and face my biggest fears.
I've been able to write several books and help those in need,
I've been able to speak to others, I've had the chance to lead.
I've lived in fear for most of my life,
My mind has lived in constant strife.
But I'm stronger today than I've ever been before,
And I'm far from being done, I have dreams I can't ignore.
In life, there is good luck and in life there is bad,
There are times to be happy and times to be sad.
Remember the good times but don't dwell on the present,
Follow those rules and your future will be pleasant.
Life is full of tough times but it also has its glory,
I think I've shown you that by telling my true story.
Thirty-seven years ago, my doctors feared I was in trouble,
But if it weren't for having dreams, I'd still be stuck in that bubble.
The first picture was one of me during my youth. The second is this year's Foundation team. I'm on the far left and my good friend the late Rusty Sneiderman was on the far right wearing his famous Cleveland Indians hat. We miss him very much.