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My nephew Alex playing street musician in his neighborhood last summer. (2005)
My mother related a story to me about my six-year old nephew Alex that I will now paraphrase second-hand.
Alex was talking to his mom (my sister, Shannon) about some type of biking event in which he wanted to participate. It wasn't clear to me if he was talking about bicycles or motorcycles. The best part, though, according to Alex, was what really surprised Shannon.
When she asked him why he wanted to do this activity, he said, "Because then I get to die."
Shannon was stunned and wasn't sure where to go from here. After a moment, she asked him, "Why would you want to do that?"
"Because then I get to go to heaven!"
Starting to understand what this was all about, Shannon then told him, "But me and Daddy would miss you real bad. We're not ready for you to be gone. You are our everything. We don't know how we could keep our lives together without you."
Alex cheerfully suggested, "Well, you can die too. Then you can be in heaven with me."
Stymied, Shannon said, "Well, Daddy and I aren't ready to die yet. What about your grandma and grandpa? What about Uncle Peter?"
"They can die too!" he said. I'm sure it all seemed pretty simple to Alex.
Then Shannon tried a new tactic. She asked him, "But what about all the things you love to do? Like playing outside or going places. Won't you miss those?"
"But Mommy," Alex explained, "you can do anything in heaven. So I'll do all of that when I'm there."
At that point, Shannon could not out-logic him and proceeded to try as hard as she could to not let on how freaked out she was by her son.
My mom told me the next time she's with Alex, she'll have to resist the temptation to worry about Alex initiating a spree of mass-murder and suicide so everyone in the family can go to heaven together.
I love today's picture for this post. Can't you see Alex 15 years from now, sitting on the green grass in front of a college library some place, surrounded by adoring fans? He's strumming his guitar, playing folk songs and everyone joins in with him. In between songs, he calmly explains to them about the journey he is preparing to take and he wants to know who's going with him. They won't need a car or a plane or a boat or a train. All they will need is some Kool-Aid (see also Jim Jones).
A favorite composer, musician and singer of mine, David Sylvian turns 48 years old today. To hear some of his music, click your Link of the Day for some free audio samples from his latest project, Nine Horses.
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