“I can start over and be the person I want to be every day.”
- Alan Bradshaw
It was late in the evening. I was with my friend Alan Bradshaw in his projection room; he owns the Motor Vu Drive-in not far from my house. Alan was in the process of transferring a movie from the projector back to the reels so it could be shipped to the film distributor; we had just finished our annual neighborhood trunk or treat. He is kind enough to donate the use of his theater each year for our annual community Halloween celebration where we gather for a barbeque, movie and candy exchange. It’s a chance for the whole community to come together and enjoy each other’s company.
At the end of this evening one of our neighbors walked up to me and said, “This is our most favorite tradition. We have built so many wonderful memories with our family and friends here.” She’s right; I’ll never forget what Alan taught me as I watched the film spinning to four different reels.
“I really like this movie,” he said. “I liked the first one too. I think they have a good message. In fact, there is a quote from the first movie that changed my life.”
I can’t tell you the exact quote because it was late at night and I didn’t write it down, but it was something like; you can’t change what happened yesterday and you don’t know what will happen in the future, but you can be who you want to be every day.
“I used to spend all my time working.” Alan said. “One day I saw that I was letting my life pass by. It seemed as if it happened over night. Then I heard that quote and I knew I could wake up each day and be the person I wanted to be. I could change. I could life a full and happy life.”
I stood not far from him as I listened and watched. I could hear the whirring sound of the film as it seemingly flung from the projector onto the shipping reels. With the exception of that noise and the sound of Alan’s voice it was quiet and the light was dim. But, Alan’s smile was bright and his voice was as light as a dancing waterfall to my ears.
His message is still trickling through my ears. “I can be who ever I want to be and start anew each day.” I can still see the twinkle of his eyes, bright with hope and confidence, enlightening my mind. The two intertwined memories combine to convince me that you and I can make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others if we simply make the choice to do so. I’m so glad that Alan decided to make a difference in my life. You and I can do the same!