Martin Luther King, Jr. Day | NY Programs & Events | Mohonk
The March Continues

I am 59 and a half. I have been an attorney for over 30 years. For years, my life has been very predictable. That all changed several years ago when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had a prostatectomy to remove my cancerous prostate. I was okay for several years until the cancer returned. I was given the choice to go on a hormone blocker or face more serious consequences. I chose neither option; I chose to believe in me and to heal myself. That was four years ago, and I am still kicking.

But my decision was not easy nor was it popular. Every other person that I knew that had cancer and was advised to receive medical intervention did so. My family thought that I was giving up and was committing suicide. I was very much alone but for certain friends who supported my decision.

I was 55 at the time and entered the woo-woo world of spirituality. I started using words like “the Universe” and “gratitude.” I began to accept events as “signs” and not just mere coincidences. I was becoming more aware of the environment around me.

Again, my “spiritual awakening” was cool for me but was a disappointment to people that knew me before. Many of my old friends dropped me and have been replaced by new friends. If you would have asked me ten years ago what my future would look like, it would not have looked anything like it does today. In my 50s, I changed. I evolved. As Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.” I feel blessed that I am able to change.

My changes did not stop at 55. Today I marched for the first time for a cause. I was surrounded by young energetic faces. I felt invigorated by the company. We were marching to celebrate “Black Lives Matter” and to protest “Police Brutality.” It was the most important 2.5 miles that I had ever traveled.

I feel good about the enthusiasm that has brought life back to our country. One man’s words. “I can’t breathe” has given us all strength to face a government that has been deaf to the plight of black people in this country for too many years. As Martin Luther King said, “We shall overcome.” Change does not have to occur overnight, but it does require a first step.

As long as we can breathe, we can hope and we can dream. Martin Luther King’s dream did not die with him. We all can help bring Rev. King’s dream to life one breath at a time.