This week, Leonard Nimoy graduated to the heavens at the age of 83. He was an actor, director, poet, and singer. However most of us know him as “Mr. Spock,” the character he made iconic in the Star Trek TV series which aired from 1966-1969.

I’m not a Trekie, someone who’s a raving fan of the Star Trek brand. However for some reason, learning the news of his death,  and researching my thoughts for this essay, there’s an empty space in my heart knowing he’s no longer physically still here.

Mr. Nimoy was born in Boston, Masachusetts on March 26, 1931 to Ukrainian Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union.  His mother was a homemaker and his dad owned a barbershop.

My folks came to the US as immigrants, aliens, and became citizens. I was born in Boston, a citizen, went to Hollywood and became an alien. ~ Leonard Nimoy

He caught the acting bug at the age of eight, playing Hansel in a children’s theatre production of Hansel and Gretel.  While growing up in a West End tenement neighborhood occupied by two-thirds Italian and one-third Jewish immigrants, he continued to be cast in various acting roles in children’s community theatre productions.

Young Leonard expressed to his Dad he wanted to be an actor. “You’re gonna be hanging around with gypsies and vagabonds” Dad said. His father’s dream was for Leonard to get good grades, go to a good college, and become something notable like a dentist, attorney, doctor, accountant, etc. and make a respectable living. His Dad, realizing this wasn’t his son’s dream, suggested he learn to play the accordion because then he’d always have a way of making a buck.

At the age of 17 he was cast in an adult play called “Awake and Sing!” by Clifford Odets. Leonard played a Jewish kid growing up in a three generation family home in the Bronx, having the same experiences as the one he was living in the West End.

The teenage Nimoy was so excited about this part because he and his character were cut from the same cloth. Both were frustrated about life. Frustrated about whether or not they’d find true love. Frustrated not knowing who they wanted to become.

When the play was over, he went back to retrieve his personal belongings he used as a costume for the role of “Ralphie.” As he walked back home, about four or five blocks from the theatre, he realized he was going in the wrong direction. It was at that moment he knew there was nothing for him back at the tenement. He discovered “Who” he wanted to become. His focus was clear. The only career for him was that of an actor.

When he arrived back at the apartment, Leonard’s grandfather sensed the motivation and passion his grandson had for becoming a thespian. He told him to chase after his dream.

Nimoy says he was stunned, speechless, and emotionally caught up in the moment. He was forever beholden to his loving granddad and the person Leonard forever calls his mentor.

Once you commit, everything begins to unfold.

So many of you are simply going through the motions of life. You’re living in careers that pay the light bill but don’t light you up.

Whether you’re 21 or 61 or somewhere in between, I’ll be happy to be your mentor to partner with you to make the transition and propel your professional career in a high definition direction.

Don’t wait until you’re dying on your death bed, about to take your last breath, regretting what you coulda, shoulda, or woulda done differently. Be like Leonard Nimoy and take action!

In one of his last tweets, Leonard shared a poem from his book “These Words are for You” called “You and I have Learned.”

“You and I have Learned”

You and I
have learned
The song of love,

and we sing it well

The song is ageless
Passed on

Heart to heart
By those
Who have seen
What we see
And known
What we know
And lovers who have
Sung before
Our love is ours
To have
To share

The miracle is this
The more we share…
The more
We have

Live long and prosper my friends. #LLAP

God Bless you Leonard Nimoy.

Photo courtesy of Beth Madison.

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