Saturday, February 13, 2010

olympics

the sound of a thousand heartbeats sends vibrations, like small earthquakes through the crowd that waits for that first string of music to come floating on the air. eyes meet, but don't see, everything blurring into one big finger paint abstract art piece. all the colors of the rainbow.

there, i hear it, and we make our way onto the track, breath leaving our lungs in a rush as we lift our heads high, some with wet trails down cheeks, some showing teeth in large cheshire grins. for this one moment all is right in the world, at peace on the playing field together.

these are the Olympic games.

i walk behind him, letting everything wash over his face. the excitement, the energy...intoxicate. seeing his mom in the sea of people, it bubbles over, as he yells, screaming, lost among all the others yelling and screaming. but he know she hears.

she is there, when he needs that last little push to make it to the finish line, when he wants to fall to the rubber race surface and quit. her tears and adulation, mix into a balm to sooth his hands crimson and raw from each step. we dance in endless circles, to celebrate, medal sparkling on his chest, pale beside his heart. arm raised high in crooked wonder, his lopsided smile threatens to swallow the rest of his face, and he believes anything is possible.

tonight, as regal music pours from the small television perched on the bar, athletes following the procession wide eyed, lost in its current, i think of him. of a weekend shared fifteen years ago, when i volunteered to be a coach, and just happened to be paired with him. i wonder does he ever still run his finger across that medal and remember just how special he is, and that the possibilities are endless, even in that wheel chair.

i di jit...

yes, you did buddy...
...you did it.

96 comments:

otin said...

Very touching Brian! You have a huge heart!

Bachelor said...

Brian, You are something else, buster! Heartwarming! :) The Bach

Ms Hen said...

very touching .. thanks for sharing this.. you were a coach?? very nice.

CottageGirl said...

Oh, Brian! How touching! You have such a great heart.

Even if he doesn't remember that day ... his mom will remember it forever.

secret agent woman said...

When I was in grad school I did videotaping for the Special Olympics. I wasn't much of a camera person but I zoomed in on every kid in each event I shot, and was later told that the parents loved that. I felt like I got way more out of the experience than I gave.

Ariel said...

Is this a true incident? Very touching. Cheers to such mothers who stand by their children's side and believes in them despite their limitations.

Beth said...

I LOVE this post!

My husband was in charge of the food for the Georgia Special Olympics several years ago when it was held in our town. It is an experience that changed his view on the world. I was never more proud of him.

Prayer Girl said...

This leaves my heart full of love and compassion. It radiates that loving spirit.

God bless.
PG

Protege said...

Again a wonderful, heartfelt and poignant post from you.
You are so inspirational at all times.
Have a lovely weekend,
xo
Zuzana

Kathy's Klothesline said...

You are a good person!

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

You are good people, Brian :) I can feel the energy of that very special olympics. Awesome job. You rock!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

So moving Brian ... you so consistently produce an outstanding read.

Mama Wheaton said...

My husband worked at the Special Olympics here in Idaho last year and it was the best moments of his life. Thanks for the reminder.

Felicitas said...

What a wonderful story, Brian. So much heart.

California Girl said...

It was wonderful to watch. We have a local girl on the downhill team, Leanne Smith. My sons went to school with her and know her well. Everyone is super excited in our tiny valley. They held a fundraiser for her family's travel costs last wkend. Fingers are crossed she performs well.

Valerie said...

Brian, you made me wish I too was there. Wonderful and inspirational writing. We can learn a lot from you.

Magpie said...

Such an inspirational piece, Brian. My life too has been touched by the Special Olympics and I find it amazing how many of those who posted comments can say the same. It leaves me to wonder - who is giving the gift during such moments?

TechnoBabe said...

What an experience for each of the children as well as the coaches, huh!! That's another fact that has surfaced and is added to the experience you brought to the fathering job.

slommler said...

This is great Brian! I could see the opening ceremonies and feel the rush!! Hear the crowd yelling! Beautiful!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Daniel said...

Sweet.

I was watching with my little one and just before the different nations of athletes came out into the stadium, she thought that was the end of the Opening Ceremony. She looked at me with disappointment in her eyes and said "Daddy, the best part of that was the Haynes Furniture commercial."

Mr. Stupid said...

Brian, that was amazing. Loved the post. Thank you so much for sharing...:)
Have a nice day!:)

jingle said...

wow,
u r so capable!
I love baseball, basketball, football, thank U for showing your multiple talent to us!

jingle said...

http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/02/13/thursday-poets-rally-perfect-poet-award-week-5/

a gift 4 u!

Toni said...

Heartwarming on so many levels Brian :)

buffalodick said...

I coached 1st year baseball(tee-ball!) and 1st year soccer..I don't know who had more fun, me or them..

Mama Zen said...

Absolutely beautiful!

sam said...

Movement is the thing isn't it, whether on legs, wheel chair or in the mind? Lets hope that he can fly! Thanks for sharing the insight.

C.M. Jackson said...

brian--amazing --thank you-c

jingle said...

Brian,
your comment on my today's post is extraordinary, in such a short time, u come up with such rare but invaluable words that form music and love in a special poem, which is highly entertaining and

Jingle is 100% amused!
Love U for your beautiful writing and timeless kindness!

Happy Happy Saturday!

William Manson © 2010 said...

brilliant imgary here friend, loved this post, have a great weekend :)

tony said...

The Prize Is Worth The Effort.

She Writes said...

Heart warming!

LMJ said...

This was wonderful and very touching.


I love the Olympics.

sheila said...

Very, VERY beautiful post Brian! The wonderment and excitement of accomplishment in the life of an athlete...or just someone enjoying themselves...is beautiful...special or not.

:)

Baino said...

Lovely Brian. I love the Paralympic sessions even more than the able Olympics actually but they rarely get the broad recognition they deserve. What a great thing you did to volunteer . . that in itself is an amazing experience.

Brian Miller said...

it is...i was emailing on commentor back...you go into it thinking you are doing it for them and come out with so much. it is a true story...most of mine are, but i still think back on that one...

Vodka Logic said...

Great writing. More men should be so caring

mama-face said...

I can't really add to anything already commented...really great story to share. Your tender heart just opens up through your words.

Lou said...

There is no feeling like winning, and making mom proud. No matter how you get to the finish line. I saw a documentary on a man who has run 85 marathons pushing his son, who has cerebral palsy, in a wheelchair. The boy feels every bit the winner after each race.

Mighty M said...

Beautiful.

Jessie Carty said...

there is just something so wonderful about the games isn't there ;)

Barbara said...

Lovely post....you are a special man.

And yes Brian, anything IS possible!

Amy said...

Wow the Olympics were amazing last night. What a great poem. I am glad you had a fun time at the Round Robin and meet some nice new people. Stop by when ever you would like.. My next Round Robin will be next month on March 12.. Have a great weekend.

CocoDivaDog said...

The Olympics always inspires the the best in everyone.

Bernie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bernie said...

So many enter the stadiums with awe, hope and wonder....I loved it and I love how you coached an athlete.....doesn't matter that he won or not able or disabled....mother's are always proud of their sons/daughters.
You are such a special person.
Great post.....:-) Hugs

CatLadyLarew said...

Wonderful post!

Her Majesty Lisa (LadyWanderlust) said...

Great, I am such an ass. As I started to read the post, I ASSumed that you meant the opening ceremonies of the Olympics...blah, blah, blah...it's still evil sports to me. Then I get to the end and realize how you are one hell of writer and a guy! Great writing.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

creative as always.....

twang goes the heart string

you did it buddy!

xxxx

Tracey said...

Oh, how us moms love to cheer them on! I hope that coaching experience was one that you'll never forget.

What a touching post!

Smiles and I hope you and your lovely T have a beautiful Valentine's Day.
(Green-Eyed Momster)

P.S.
I always forget to sign in with my other account. Half way though typing the comment, I remember....

Ronda Laveen said...

I so relate to this one. I used to coach the special bowling league. Each little victory is so huge to them.

Monkey Man said...

Brian. you are the MAN. Great tale. Well told.

Nessa said...

I'm sure it is a happy time he recalls with joy.

Purdie Pyrate

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Very touching! The Olympics brings us all a sense of pride, regardless of race, nationality or ability.

Tom said...

Great; and thanks.

Corrie Howe said...

You and my husband would get along great. I'm not sentimental or romantic. I gave snarky commentary throughout the opening ceremony. He asked me, "Why are so so rowdy tonight?"

Rowdy? I was lounging in my bed, with a glass of wine just wanting to go to sleep. That's rowdy?

And even though he complained of my lack of emotion over the ceremonies, he laughed all the way through my commentary.

You can imagine what Valentine's Day is like in our house. ;-)

CottageGirl said...

Congrats on Jingle's Happy Award!

ishabelle said...

this is so touching... :) happy valentine's day... i hope you enjoy this award... :)

http://ishabellemanalo.wordpress.com/2010/02/14/fabulous-blog-award/

The Retired One said...

Ah, Brian...this brought tears to my eyes.
It takes a special man to see the special uniqueness of each of these children and to equally feel their victories.
You are an earth angel.

justsomethoughts... said...

as did you, brain
nice

e said...

Poignant...Thanks much for sharing this!

~ Tabitha ~ said...

Love that connection you shared,Brian.

I live in Vancouver and right now the city is a buzz for all of the athletes...

Cheers!

tera said...

Aw...that is really great! What a great memory for both of you.

jaymiethorne said...

You always bring us such gifts. Thank you.

ShAKirA CHOONG said...

Dearest Brian,

I am so touched by your compassion.
Great tribute to all those
who dare to dream!

Bravo!

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

hugs
shakira

Devika said...

Another very fine piece of writing, Brian :)

wishes,
devika

Terrace Crawford said...

Nicely done Brian. Very inspiring too!

--Terrace Crawford
www.terracecrawford.com
www.twitter.com/terracecrawford

Eternally Distracted said...

Amazing achievement and great that you were there to tell us the tale :0)

LadyFi said...

Amazing. Inspiring. Beautiful.

becky said...

I loved the post.Im watching the olympics on the Tv but I wish I wre there.Your post was very warm at heart to say the least.Im a new follower.

Anya said...

Wishing you a Valentine's Day
filled with love
and the tender sound
of a voice that gives you comfort.....

Happy Valentine's Day :-)

((hugs)) Kareltje =^.^=

the walking man said...

Well done Brian, the words were good too.

Skye said...

Way to go Brian! Lovely memory to start off the Olympics with :)

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

"Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt!"

13 years volunteer Michigan Summer Games, most of those served at Track and Field events. Some of the most amazing, miraculous, exhilarating experience of my life. God be with every one of those well honed seasoned athletes!

They taught me more about practice, perseverance and Love!

I watched two atheletes run one year, they were neck and neck, we weren't allowed to help anyone up if they fell. The rest of the crowd of runners was far behind these two. One of the men tripped, shoelace not tied quite tight enough. DAMN IT! DOWN he went, knees and elbows skinned, sweat tears... His running mate, now absolutely the CLEAR winner, turned... he knew ...

He went back and encouraged the fallen runner up, just kept yelling, get up, we can do this, we watched in awe, the downed runner got up, they ran together and the first runner sprinted only at the last moment to come in first.

That's God! Working in others to me. He could have run far ahead, he could have just run on. He didn't leave the fallen man behind, he stopped and encouraged his fellow athlete to be brave in the attempt and succeed.

I will carry that experience with me always!

AmyLK said...

The Special Olympics are great aren't they?!?!?! Love the story.

rxBambi said...

great story B. Now just to make me feel a *little* bit better, why don't you share something horrible that you've done.

maybe you kicked a dog. Or put a cat in the dryer. Stole candy from a toddler... something...

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

Poetic in its expression - heartfelt in its emotion - humanity in its own special knowing... Thank you Brian.

Hilary said...

You are a gem. What a great post.

only a movie said...

I've always wanted to volunteer for Special Olympics. Good stuff, Brian.

JStar said...

This is a great tribute Brian!

blueviolet said...

That warmed my heart this morning!

Meeko Fabulous said...

Gosh . . . If I didn't think you were awesome before . . . You take the cake with this one buddy! :)

imbeingheldhostage said...

And you did it-- again. Beautiful post.

gaelikaa said...

Very touching and beautiful. Thanks for sharing....

Moannie said...

Thanks to Hlary and her Post of the Week for finding you. What a beautiful post...heartwarming.

ethelmaepotter! said...

I usually like to pick a sentence that I found particularly appealing, copy and paste it into my comments, and congratulate the author on turning such a beautiful phrase; but I find it redundant to copy and paste your entire post here, so I will merely say...

This is a brilliant story, simple, heartfelt, awe-inspiring, and the perfect complement to 2010 Olympic Games. Congratulations on a very well deserved post of the week.

Land of shimp said...

Brian, that was lovely, and a wonderful memory to share with us all. You used beautiful phrasing throughout, and really made me care, almost instantly. It's an easy subject to care about, but really, you did something very special here. Both in the writing of it, and in the actual act of volunteering.

What a special day you shared, and hold dear. We've got a niece who is developmentally disabled/special needs. Programs like the Special Olympics do such good in this world.

steviewren said...

You did it too Brian!

addhumorandfaith said...

How touching and also how timely.
Maybe when he runs his finger over the medal he remembers the coach who helped him win it too, and how special you were too!

CherylK said...

Hilary sure knew what she was doing when she chose this as post of the week...this is so beautifully written.

Daryl said...

Perfect post ..
Congrats on being THE POTW from Hilary

Eleonora said...

Why did I miss this? Thanks to Hilary and POTW I'm here now, weeping. Very touching.

You are a very generous soul.

Thank you

Mama Kat said...

I have goosebumps! Such a special post!!

ds said...

Beautiful. Those Olympics are truly Special, as is this post. Congratulations on being Post of the Week. This is perfect. Thank you.
What happened to your protege?

Joanna Jenkins said...

Not sure how i missed this one but I'm glad Hilary selected it as the Post of the Week. It's a perfect post Brian. It made my heart happy.
COngratulations.
jj