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The air tonight smells like summer of my childhood, radically bringing back memories of people, laughter, and love.

I remember Friday night meetings at Joseuncle’s house, hanging out on the stoop outside and being completely happy.

On the white cordless phone, windows open, the subway rumbling in the distance, talking all night, interrupted by a car alarm or two, finally drowsing off at 5 am or 6, when the light was breaking through, then sleeping in ’til noon with absolutely nothing to do the next day.

I see my baggy salvar pants and twirly-whirley salvar tops, my long hair, my glasses, and being 10 years older than I really was.

I think I even remember a summer evening, hanging out behind Herschell Street, probably when we were 6, and 7, and 10.  Plastic shoes.  Corduroy pants. 

The Bronx was a good place to grow up.  Yes, getting mugged or witnessing “Mari’s” boyfriend try to kill her or having the bar on the corner was all strange, but now it feels so strange remembering how secure life was.  I wonder how different life would have turned out if…

Instead, I thank God that He had a plan.  He spent a lot of time on me.  He prepared me.  He lit my path on fire.  Then He dropped the floor.  He let it rain.  He let it POUR.  He dried it up.  He was with me.  All for such a time as this. 

Thank you, God– for this life, for my family, for my experiences, for my pain, and most of all, for Your presence.  I love you and I’m eternally dedicated to you. 

All this.  Just from how the air smells tonight.

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