When I was a child I loved all things Star Trek and space related, so my Mother took my cousin Marcel Melendez and I to meet the legendary Leonard Nimoy, who was making an appearance at a department store called Alexander’s in New Jersey.
I can remember waiting excitedly in front of the line for the great Mr. Spock to make his appearance and as I was a little guy and right up front, I had a great seat right alongside my cousin. My cousin has since reminded me how everyone was passing the news along that Mr. Nimoy was running late and that he would be landing on the roof via helicopter.
Low and behold, Mr. Nimoy finally appeared and to my amazement as he was passing by us, he stopped, ruffled my hair, asked myself and my cousin our names, along with how we were and I can honestly remember feeling as if I was the most special kid in the whole wide world if not the entire galaxy!
Years later my Mother also told me how nicely Mr. Nimoy had held her hand as well, along with the wink and nod he gave my very pretty single Mom. Now decades later, I love being able to say what great attention one of my childhood heroes, paid to me as a boy, while also harmlessly flirting with my Mother Leslie Bourdony, if only just a little.
With Mr. Nimoy’s recent passing this past February 26th, 2015, and in celebration of what would have been his 84th birthday today, March 26th, 2015, I offer this fond memory of my first encounter with a man I truly respected as both actor and artist, along with the personal inspiration his work and last social media message now holds for me.
On February 23, 2015, Mr. Nimoy’s last public message via Twitter simply read;
“Life is like a Garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP”
Upon reading Mr. Nimoy’s last public and very meaningful words, I retrospectively believe I understand what he was saying and trying to convey to the world. And I only need to think back to my memory of meeting him as a child in order to illustrate the point.
Much like life, a garden is full of potential, growth, opportunity, and failure, along with the pleasure of experiencing the garden’s beauty, like life; as it comes to you if you choose to realize it. What we put into life, we may hopefully realize in time to have become good fruits of our labor; but along with the good, will also come the bad and both must be accepted, cherished, lived through and hopefully learned from.
Along the way, we will see perfect flowers from time to time in the form of our experiences and perhaps if we are lucky; we may realize this to a perfect moment. While any given experience will not last forever, the enjoyment and purposeful living of life in those special moments can be appreciated, fully experienced and then let go of with love and gratitude if we try.
If we are truly lucky and did our best to cultivate the garden that is our life, these perfect moments may come together to have been not only a peaceful and long life, but hopefully also prosperous and lived to the best of our ability.
So in essence, as I look back at this memorable moment in my life when my loving Mother took her proud-to-be-geeky son, to meet one of his boyhood heroes as my Mom thankfully supported my passions, hobbies and interests. And for that sci-fi loving young boy in the late 70’s, everything about the moment I met Leonard Nimoy is to this day very special and perfect, and now more than ever, will always have a special place in my heart.
For the idealistic young boy I was when I first met Mr. Nimoy, that moment while quite romanticized, is in fact long gone, but will always be preserved as a cherished and lovingly perfect moment in my memory.
Perhaps, what Mr. Nimoy was trying to tell us is simply this; try to consciously enjoy life along with all of its beautiful and special experiences as they come to you, for your life will be filled with many such perfect moments just as a garden is filled with beautiful flowers throughout its time as a consciously sowed garden. We just need to remember to cultivate our life-like gardens properly, regularly and with all of the passion we can muster.
Thank you for making me feel so important on that very special day Mr. Nimoy. Thank you for inspiring me and thank you for the vision, artistry and passion you have given and shared with myself and the world. You will always be remembered for having lived a long and prosperous life, which was an example to us all!
We will celebrate your life and journey more so than we will mourn it and Happy Birthday sir!