One recent morning I awoke to a dreadfully disturbing image that has me thinking about the bridges we cross as we walk through our life toward the future. My son Kyle and I were on an immense, soaring bridge, high above a body of water. For some reason, a complete section in front of us was missing like those in the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. “The Broken Bridge” has been the subject of paintings, including one by the Dali.
In my surreal dream, it looked something like this:
I didn’t know why, but we had to get across the gap to the other side and all we had was a wooden plank, like a 2” x 10”. Kyle was terrified, but I convinced him to cross after I put the plank across the span. He fell. I woke up.
In the days that followed, it stayed with me and revealed its meaning. The bridge with the break represented the path to Kyle’s future after I’m gone. Some people have burned the bridges to their future. Others have damaged theirs with bad decisions that make for a perilous, but still achievable crossing.
Others still, have glinting new bridges in front of them. All they have to do is walk across.
Through no fault of his own, Kyle has some more building to do before he can cross his bridge to a bright future. It’s my job to help Kyle build passage over his obstacles. I read to Kyle and we do phonics games on the PC. He already recognizes many of the words representing the things he loves: Harry Potter, Titanic, Jaws, Hook… We have a goal that Kyle will read me J.K. Rowling’s 7th Harry Potter book. I figure we have a little over two years to get there. We will. Before I leave this world, I’ll see my son standing on the other side of his bridge, smiling.