Lying in bed one warm evening, I had a dream come to me where someone asked "If you had one wish, what would it be?"

"To be able to follow in my father’s footsteps," I heard myself mutter to the unknown stranger who asked the question.

Suddenly, I felt the wind strongly against my back and it seemed like my body was running backwards. After what seemed like an eternity, I came to an abrupt halt. Looking through a thinning fog I stared down at a baby boy who I immediately knew was my father.

Sandwiched between two adults, who I also knew were my grandparents, I watched my father struggle to his feet for the first time. And I saw his footsteps weave back and forth until he slipped and fell. After a short period of crying, not because his bottom was hurt as much of his pride, he pulled himself up time and again until he finally was able to navigate between my grandparents.

In this dream time seemed to move at a rapid pace, so watching my father’s footsteps go from weaving until they moved in a straight line seemed to only take seconds. Following his footsteps out the door, day after day they led to a building that had a name called Flat Rock-Hawcreek School. Within this massive building, starting on one end and eventually to the other, my father’s footsteps seemed to go everywhere -- from a grade school desk, up the hall into the cafeteria, in through the high school doors, into the gym, outside around the track, and finally across a podium and out the door for the final time. 

Now I followed my father’s footsteps to an Army base where his footsteps wove back in forth for a short time. I followed them to a large airplane and did not see them again until I found them in some foreign land called Vietnam. Some days in this Vietnam, my father’s footsteps went from buried in mud, to climbing a hill for a while, to hurrying back down. Finally one day after hurrying back down a hill I noticed that one of his footsteps was dragging the ground all the way to a helicopter who took my father to a hospital where his footsteps stopped for a time.

Until one day I saw them leave the hospital with a slight limp which never went away. I followed them to an airplane and never saw them in Vietnam again.

Father’s footsteps were finally back home and for many, many years his footsteps went to a building named Work. Following his footsteps, they were all over the town from the market, to the gas station, to so many places I could not name them all. I saw my father’s footsteps walk down the aisle of his church to stop at the podium and he turn as he watched down the aisle until a beautiful lady, who I immediately knew was my mother, followed his footsteps to the podium. Footsteps turning to face each other, words were spoken. Their footsteps walked back down the aisle side by side. For some reason, I knew that I soon will be in their plans.

Striding back in forth outside the birthing center I saw my father’s footsteps pick up speed -- until the door opened and a nurse led him to my mother’s bed and she told him he had a son. It was me, quickly followed by a brother and sister and our family was formed.

Father’s footsteps were found along with my mother’s, my brother and sister and my own in so many places together it would be impossible to named.

After a while, father's footsteps, seemed to slow down a lot and after all his children flew the coop he did not seem to go to other places nearly as often. They finally stopped going to the work building.

One day, I noticed that his footsteps led out of his house to where he always parked his car. I finally found them at the hospital and did not ever see them leave again.

Walking outside the hospital with tears in my eyes, I looked up and saw a set of stairs leading up into the clouds. There were my father’s footsteps.

"Your wish has been granted but at this time you may not follow. But some day when it is your time, you will know."