If an honest epitaph were to be written in the future about all of us, what would it say? When all of our experiences in this short life were to be taken into account, would the epitaph read like this: “Here lies humanity, and in the end, all the love that was made was equal to the love that was gave.” Would that epitaph be your mark in this lifetime? Or while the clock is still ticking, and blood is flowing through our veins, will there always be hope for a new dawn? These questions all started for me as a young boy, named Frankie who lay in bed with his eyes transfixed on the ceiling.
I should have been sleeping, but a nagging new reality sent shivers down my spine. I had come to the conclusion of my infinite smallness, and how if just by chance, I was alive and occupied this small speck of time. Why were we born here in America, and not Asia, or some other part of the world? What was the purpose of this existence?
But the questions that began that evening in bed as a whisper were now shouting in his brain. Though Frankie felt so small and unimportant, I felt that there must be an answer to the questions nagging my new reality. Why was I here, at this time, in this family, in this world? Then a new reality began to settle into me, slowly influencing my new reality. It started as a small idea, but over the years became a life’s mission, to discover why we are here, and what in this life has lasting value.
The story begins in a small Catholic Church in the Los Angeles diocese. I was a good Catholic Italian American boy, who had recently received his first holy communion, prayed to Jesus and Blessed Virgin daily. Still questions stalked my mind, who were these people that were portrayed in statues and stories all around his catholic church? I would not take his eyes off the statues, as if they held all the answers to his simple Sunday morning musings during mass. The only thing that mattered was love.
Love was the glue that holds everything together. Love defines my existence as the driving force that gives life purpose. When all is said and done, life is full of good and bad decisions that affect those around us, and credit or subtract from the love you give and the love you take. For the heart of man is filled with both good and evil, and a battle is waged daily for our soul, as the church taught me, when I was a child.
But love doesn’t answer all the questions buried deep within me. Who are we really and how can we make even the smallest difference? By searching for the truth about who we really are, and what is our place in the world, I began to dream about my quest. A quest that would set me free to discover, to experience, to share myself with the larger world outside of Southern California.