Remembering Ryan: The Crossroads
I write this monthly blog in honor of my brother Ryan. "So long as they speak your name, you shall never die".
The year was 1995. Bone Thugs N Harmony just released a new single titled Crossroads. I was 9, maybe 10, but somehow had a love and appreciation for rap music growing up. I have my brother Ryan to thank for that. Between the two of us, I feel like we owned just about every rap CD released between the years 1995-2005. But that summer, the song Crossroads was placed over and over and over.
One of these days you are all going to reach a crossroads. For young kids, it can happen very fast. You get to that point in life where you spend more time with your peers than you do with your family. You start making decisions on your own. There is no more consulting mom, dad, or any other guardian. You start letting your peer group influence your decisions. And if you start hanging with the wrong crowd, the results could be disastrous. Within days, weeks, months or years, your journeys can take a decisive and possibly irrevocable turn. When you reach that crossroads, you have to understand that the wrong decision could sometimes be a slippery slope. As a young kid, I decided it would be "cool" to drink some beers. Eventually this turns into drinking some beers and driving. And eventually, as a 22 or 23 year old, after drinking and driving for about 6 or 7 years, I got caught. This point was the lowest of lows in my life. I struggled getting over this moment for years. I had 3 friends in the car with me that night and spent a lot of time thinking that I could have done bodily harm to these guys if I smashed up my car. Someone could have been seriously injured. Someone, or some people, could have died. If that occurred, I could be spending a large portion of my adult life in prison. Fortunately for me, everyone is healthy and everyone survived. But that is not the case for everyone. I was lucky. The police in Hellertown intervened before that could happen and I am grateful for that. You won't find me with an alcoholic beverage in my hand again!
With mothers day not too long ago, it is important for every young kid out there to know that they are “some moms boy” and therefore “the most precious thing” in that woman’s life. That alone makes every one of you special. I want you to remember that every time you make a decision, keep that person in mind. That person is the one who has your back no matter what the circumstance. Life is about learning and poor decisions are always going to be a part of it. Poor decisions will also lead to failure, so I hate to break it to you, failure is here to stay. But failure does not make you a loser in life. Trying not to do better, trying not to be better, that will make you a failure.
Summer is right around the corner. Be safe, be careful, and make great decisions!
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