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Can You Change Your Stars?

I’ve been putting off writing today because it’s my birthday and it’s been an emotional one. My son was released from jail on a Saturday afternoon without a plan to help him succeed. This is after 6 weeks of detox & planning for a rehab. This sent him right back into the same environment he’s been in with 2 years of substance use and arrests.

My brain is in the practical mode of the risk of overdose after 45 days of non- use. Will these tears ever stop? My heart hurts with the unknowing of the future and the reality of the past & present.

I just keep wondering if people really change. Is it in the stars for my son to have a spiritual awakening?

I came across this Instagram of Ryan Michler. Maybe there’s hope.

In the movie A Knight’s Tale, a young William Thatcher (played by Heath Ledger), asks his father, “Can a man change his stars?”

Believe it or not, it’s one of my favorite lines from any movie. And, one of my favorite scenes is when the now man, William Thatcher, returns to his father, who sacrificed so much for his son, to tell him that he has, in fact, changed his stars.

It’s a concept I’ve wrestled with for years. Especially as I began to have children of my own. For a long time I believed I was destined to walk in my father’s footsteps. In fact, I was very much down the path of doing so.

See, I don’t have any pictures like this of me and my dad. I have very few stories to share and very limited memories of our experiences together.

I wish that I had more. I’m sure he wishes that as well. Maybe in another life we’ll be able to make new memories and share adventures together.

Regardless, I made a decision years ago to ensure my children never understand that feeling.

And in a way, for the last 13 years, I’ve been working tirelessly to not only change my stars but theirs as well.

I am not destined to follow in his footsteps. I am my own man. And while I look to my father who taught me some lessons, I am a sovereign man capable of choosing a new course of action.

And so I have. I have changed my stars – because I made a conscious decision to do so.

This picture represents so much more than a successful hunt. It reminds me that the decisions we make have consequences, both positive and negative.

And, as I look at it over the years (and when my sons look at it when I’m dead and gone), I hope it will remind us all of “that one summer afternoon in Hawaii where we got to spend time together as father and sons.”

And, we’ll laugh, smile, and tell stories of memories that, had I resigned to follow the status quo, never would have been made.

There is no fate, gentlemen. No path we’re obligated to follow. There are only our choices and their inevitable results.

Tonight, while watching “I Shouldn’t Be Alive”, one of my favorite memories of watching it with my son; I realized every single episode is when the person or persons are at their absolute last moment. Then someone swoops in and saves their life. I guess that’s what hope and faith are for.

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