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  • Writer's pictureMichael Apollo Lira

I will forever be that lucky kid.

The past few months have been blurry.


I remember them. But I would describe life as a bit of a barrage. I don't really know how to summarize, or what even to summarize since there is a lot to unpack. I catch myself wondering if perhaps I’m the figment of someone else’s imagination at times.


I suppose a good place to start would be my birthday. The big 4-0. Normally, foreign travel would be in the cards for a big birthday event. In the past, we've traveled to exciting destinations such as Peru, Turks & Caicos, Mexico, Cuba, and more for celebrations of birthday and life.


Actual picture taken upon my arrival to Cuba


This year, travel has been confounded by a number of hiccups and issues. But I had the honest-to-God pleasure of a small, quiet birthday dinner of crab with my parents and Karina. I remember smiling and quietly watching my parents many times throughout that night during our meal, reflecting on the various memories and sentimental moments I've shared with them throughout my life.


With food, stories were shared. Laughter was exchanged. There was a sweetness to my time with them that evening, though somewhere inside of me was a pang of sadness as well. There is a reality I’ve been coming to terms with, that time is starting to run out; these moments have started becoming increasingly precious to me. Love makes realizations like this very difficult.

I wanted so badly for that evening to last just a little bit longer. But time continued slipping past us as we sat there by the water. "I'm one lucky kid," I've told them countless times throughout my life. I have to say it. It's the truth. And I made it a point to say it yet again amidst our sharings, musings, and memories together on that very pleasant evening.


I will forever be that lucky kid.



 

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lauradoman
Feb 13, 2023

My parents are in their late 80s and seem to be rather quickly winding down their lives. I feel them same way you do, Michael, especially how long I've had them in my life. One of the rewards of having kids is (hopefully!) hearing them say "thanks, we're lucky to have you as parents." My kids are young adults and it's been gratifying to have them tell us how they've come to realize that their boring family life has turned out to be a blessing, since few of their friends had stability growing up and wish they'd had family dinners nearly every night, too. Glad your birthday was so beautifully shared!

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Michael Apollo Lira
Michael Apollo Lira
Feb 13, 2023
Replying to

We're just so short-sighted in our youth...I feel like the gratitude and realization always came so much later, once I had really grasped just how much love my parents raised me with. I wish I could have shown more love and gratitude at the time it all happened. But I'm also thankful for the wisdom and recognition my parents have to know that, well...kids are kids. Wisdom comes later. I think they appreciate it hearing it now, though. I take a lot of comfort in them saying how much they enjoyed raising me. And all I want to do is return that love and

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Gary Mason
Gary Mason
Dec 31, 2022

Believe me, continue to hold those moments close, because once they're gone you don't want any regrets. Although as someone once told me after my mom passed away: Even if you spent EVERY minute of your life with her, it still wouldn't be enough. Sounds like it was a Happy Birthday!

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Michael Apollo Lira
Michael Apollo Lira
Dec 31, 2022
Replying to

It was a very happy birthday. I always appreciate your words and wisdom, Gary. Thank you <3

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Josh Alexander
Josh Alexander
Dec 31, 2022

MAN, buddy. Knowing you, and knowing your story and what you’ve recently been through, I know what Part 2 of this blog will hold. my heart is with you, and you are and were very lucky indeed.


PS - D’OH! I confess I actually zoomed in on the “actual picture“ of your arrival. Hahaha!

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Michael Apollo Lira
Michael Apollo Lira
Dec 31, 2022
Replying to

Here's a less grainy version of that image from my trip. It's amazing how a slightly different angle can completely change the quality of a picture!


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