The Richest Man In The World
So deep are memories that course through my brain that even after
all these years, his memories are my memories, his dreams are my
dreams, his hopes are my hopes. I cannot be any other than who I am.
I carry on a legacy and his life. I carry the memories we made
inside me. They are treasures worth more than gold or diamonds.
I am lucky to be the richest man in the world.
Footsteps echoing through a cavernous train station and the sounds
of people in a hurry to go somewhere else - a steamy, dreamy summer
night so long ago, so far away. Watching the locomotives chugging in
and out; an awesome testimony to man's technological genius. These
shiny black monsters of iron and steel and brass and copper hissing
and thundering into the station excite the little boy who seems so
insignificant and so weak next to them. I stand on a platform near
the tracks and watch huge billows of smoke pouring from a coal-fired
inferno buried deep with those lumbering beasts, amazed and dazzled
at what humanity has accomplished.
They are not going anywhere - my grandfather and his son. They are
not going anywhere but home. Another summer night, another walk,
another dream of a young boy in awe of life, in awe of the wonders
of his world.
My grandfather and I walking slowly nowhere on another dreamy, soft
summer night. The range lights of Battery Park guiding unseen
sailors safely into the harbor. There are no boats, no sailors -
there is nothing at all in my world but the smell of the bay,
summer's sweet scent and my grandfather and I sharing another summer
These memoires are all that is left of a little
boy and his grandfather. But from that tiny, fleeting synapse of memory, great dreams and visions
Walking home under a twilight sky of orange and blue and violet, I
feel the brush of a summer breeze in my hair. Shivers strange and
pleasant run through me and a profound peace surrounds me. I feel a
love so deep and a peace so overwhelming - I cannot fully comprehend
it. I am happy - truly happy.
I didn't know then that these were times I would never live again. I
didn't know then that the love and happiness I felt would never come
again. That feeling of love, warmth and peace can never be
accurately captured in words. I know that I cannot write them down
or speak words that will ever faithfully describe those feelings
that I had then.
touch those times and feelings with my mind but I cannot share them. I can
never relive them, I can only marvel and be thankful that I have
beautiful memories; that I can enjoy them, treasure them and savor
them. I am lucky because I know now
that I'll never lose them.
I wish I could thank my grandfather for all that he gave me. I don't
remember a single birthday gift or Christmas present he gave me, but
I remember gifts that the richest man in the world could never buy.
He gave me and my father dreams, hopes, peace, love and most of all
memories of sweet summer nights which fade away in time but live
forever in our memories.
Those train stations, locomotives, harbors and the world in which
they existed are gone forever. They live on in me because someone
cared enough to share his world with me.
A little boy lying in bed on a windless summer night listening to a
locomotive chugging through the dark comforted and eased the
loneliness that a little boy feels when he thinks he is the only one
awake and the rest of the world is sleeping. The engineer of the
locomotive is awake and guiding his wonder of iron and steel over
tracks that lead to someplace else. The little boy smiles and falls
asleep knowing he is not the only one awake on this still summer
A little boy, years hence, lies in bed, on a muggy, hot summer night
listening to an airliner flying overhead and knows he's not the only
one awake. He falls asleep dreaming that someday he will be a pilot
of an airliner and fly high above the countryside knowing that
somewhere down there a little boy is lying in bed awake, on a summer
night, knowing he is not alone in the dark.
Memories are more than treasures, they are the foundation of hopes
When I think of my grandfather and the memories he gave me, I know I
am the luckiest and richest man in the world.
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