To My Parents
Today, unlike other days, I am drifting on the sea of life, in the craft that has served as my haven for nigh on seven decades. When I wanted to test the water in this vast sea, you would allow me to cup my hand, reach into the water and taste the brine it offered.
As time continued we knew my boat would be cast on the water. You constructed a strong craft with a wide beam and a tall sail with a warning of high winds and unpredictable waves. Attached to the rudder handle were a compass and a life vest. When I heaved the cast line back towards the shore I saw the two of you standing there holding hands, proudly, in hopes that my journey would be safe and secure.
Now that the challenges of waves and stiff winds have become few, I am able to re-inventory my ship. It now has a reliable engine. It starts most of the time and affords me the confidence to know that I am secure on the water. Your tall mast and sail are intact and have held up through every storm. The compass still guides me, too. I don’t adjust my course without knowing my true direction. Finally, I clutch the vest. The vest of life. It is the one item that still is the most sea worthy. It never failed me, ever. Today I know that you have always been the vest, because today, I realized that it fastens tightly over my heart.
You two are my greatest heroes. Thank you and I love you both.
By Carlo Orlando©
Photos provided by Georgeann Orlando Butler©