“Well, well, well … The Prodigal’s Son!”



Happy Friday, All!

And y’all already know how I roll … so … T.G.I.F.!!

I always have to always thank somebody … or something … ’cause I know I didn’t do this journey by myself?!!  And thank you guys, too!

First things first, right?!  So, bam … I love youse guys … you know … the unconditional love you have for folks … or ideas … maybe even concepts.  I love a lot of things, and I’ve found it builds a tremendous passion for life in me.  I don’t have to own things or the latest phone to be happy … I don’t have to have the most beautiful girl … or any girl/woman at this point … in order to make my life complete.  Of course, I get that longing feeling from time to time … like the lobster (thanks Ayanna for commenting on that story about how the lobster feels uncomfortable in his shell, hides under a rock, sheds his shell and grows another one … away from predators) gets in each stage of its growth!  I like to be around people, encouraging each other to grow and helping each other through this “growth”.  A quick thanks to Princeton classmate of the Class of ’76, Willy Landrigan, who reminded me that it was our 40th Class Reunion … not the 45th as I incorrectly stated in the last piece when I mentioned my friend Dr. Karen Hurley and the fact that we “almost” met up that weekend.

This time of year is very sentimental for me … There are many moments when I “long” to have one  more conversation with my mother … we were closer than me and my father, though I miss him, too!  They always worked so hard to make sure that we had a great holiday season.  My father would put the tree up in our humble 3 bedroom apartment in The Projects, there were Christmas cards hanging decoratively from the windows in the living room behind the tree which had everything including that dreaded “angel’s hair” and colorful tinsels!!  This was New York, White Plains to be exact, and it was winter time and we had the “Christmas spirit” floating from the oven as mom cooked everything from hams and turkey to fruit cakes and sweet potato pies!!  We had the visual senses on high alert and … on any given Sunday, the old fashioned stereo played Christmas songs by Mahalia Jackson as well as Dean Martin!!  It was Christmas time, indeed!

Over the years, I have had my challenges, my binges and  my challenges … hmmmpfff.  Haven’t we all!!  What I adore about my mother is that whenever I returned from some episode along my journey, she would always welcome me “home”!  Her favorite saying was, “Well, well, well … the Prodigal’s son!”  My dad was not always as welcoming but my mother showed me that “unconditional love” that many of us miss … either because we don’t know how to show it … or we lack it in our own lives!!  I learned it from my mother while my father was always the “safety net” if his input was needed, usually his input was tempered by my mother’s love …  Oh how I miss her!

Enjoy the season, folks … enjoy your families … enjoy each other … and enjoy the true meaning of the season …


John I. Cook, Director

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