I sit alone this morning, in the sun, with miles of smiles… I’ve led a life few know or could imagine. I ran the gamut of memories – from death-defying courageousness to the fonder moments of sledding, crabbing, and sailing off the beaches of the Chesapeake Bay. I’ve ventured to places some only read about, such as Hong Kong and Korea, but I always returned to the comforts of my heart.
As age and experience equal wisdom, I find myself now complete. I can honestly say I know who I am today, but in the beginning, it was a “Rocky Horror Show.” I began as an educationally handicapped child who also suffered through my parent’s complexing divorce situation. Every day it seemed each of their tales led nowhere or even served a purpose. Then one day, they passed in grace, along with my predecessors. Could fate allow me to live a better life?
I often asked myself how many times will God give us a second chance? Some friends lived through heart attacks, and some should be dead from serious accidents. How often God picks us up and brushes us off, I don’t know, but I do know He protects us like no other insurance plan.
In three months, my high school class will celebrate our 50th-year reunion. Many will come to celebrate and some cannot, but the miles of smiles will include my love for each one. The comradery we share will live in infamy. As I read the list of classmate obituaries, I recognize they, too, touched my life. I pray for them as God, I’m sure, will take them home to be with Him one day. This is their second chance at life!
My miles of smiles over the years had a few frowns, but it was just a smile turned upside down. Today I look back and wish only one thing… I listened to God when He first whispered in my ear. I walked a lonely road, in 1985, in the afternoon’s sunset with my aspiring wife, and then she disappeared for thirty years. Second chances just don’t come around for everyone as I recognize in my classmates. We are not cats who land on our feet and have nine lives. But, those miles of smiles I missed with her, only enhances my gratitude for her now. God knows for sure how much meaning she gives to my life every morning.
The miles of smiles is our destiny to eternity for all of us. It’s the crosswalks we crossed in our youth as we sat under the moonlit night. It is the memories of those childhood times. How grateful I am to live long enough to appreciate those adolescent years!
I feel so complete in these last chapters of my life’s autobiography. I hold my wife’s hand, and we meander where time will never end. It’s the same place we shared when God introduced her love for me… miles of smiles ago, in the sand.
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