Two of the kindest, smartest, postive-minded, courageous young men I have ever had the honor to know. To your left, is Jerry Binder, with the cool tie on. Jerry was my best friend in grade school. To your right of Jerry is my cousin Howard Palmer.
By Richard Mabey Jr.
The good Lord works in mysterious ways. I’ve been a bit down in the dumps all day today. I’ve been thinking about my novel all day today. Right now, as I write this, about 90 percent of my comic book collection is sitting in an auction house in Central Florida. My entire comic book collection will soon be auctioned off. I intend to use the money, I get from auctioning off my comic books, to pay for the publishing costs of my novel.
But, it’s not all that easy. All day long I wondered how my novel will be received when it is published. There will be the critics. There will be the cruel acquaintances and friends. There will be the people who will find a great joy in tearing it apart, criticizing just for the fun of it.
Then I got to thinking, who do I think I am? Who do I really think I am? I’m the son of a long-distance truck driver. I struggled through my college chemistry classes. I’ve got a shoebox jam-packed with rejection slips. I’m presently working as a Security Guard in a gated community for old folks. The question just pounded in my head all day, like a blacksmith’s big hammer hitting the iron anvil, who do I really think I am?
Then, a small miracle just happened. My Facebook friend, Jill, put up a picture of two of my best friends from my childhood. It was a picture of my best friend from grade school, Jerry Binder, and my dear cousin, Howard Palmer. I don’t know what it was about that picture. I can’t put it into words. But that picture caused a fury to flow through my veins. My heart began to pound with a “can do” spirit.
You see, both Jerry and Howard spent their lives in wheelchairs. Both, Jerry and Howard now reside in Heaven. I loved them both as brothers. I miss them both very much. Both of them had this incredibly positive, courageous, “nothing’s gonna stop me” spirit. They were strong young men. They were my heroes.
When I saw their picture, I had this surge of courage. I thought to myself, “my critics can go to hell.” I know that’s not kind. But too bad. My critics can go to hell.
I am so grateful to Jerry’s sister, Jill, for posting this photo on her Facebook page. It was as if both, Jerry and Howard, were communicating with me from the great beyond. It was as if they were speaking to me, “we believe in you Richard! We believe in you! Publish your book!”
It’s been a long time since a picture had such a powerfully positive effect upon me as this picture has. It’s given me a newfound courage, a surge of inspiration, a pounding sense of determination, and a rebirth of youthful vision. I have this feeling that nothing can stop me. And, I don’t care how callous it may sound, my critics can go to hell.