Wednesday, September 15, 2010

finding heaven

standing at the head of the concrete stairs, we look down at the lonely playground. he fidgets, running a finger in the tender skin beneath his eye. i can see the desire churning inside him before he even speaks.

we can go down. i say.

yellow white teach catch the sun and he does a little dance, as we make our way around the apartment building on an easier descent. two teens pause briefly in their exchange, between the cars, to watch us. i am lint on a coat, in this neighborhood.

barely containing himself, he bounces and jiggles, until we arrive and the fun begins. he points at what he wants to do, this cripple wheel chaired boy, and i do it.

hang upside down...and i do.

slide...and i do.

swing...and i do, and with each pull to bring me higher, he sways, feeling the breeze on his face as if it is he...

go round and round on the merry-go-round...no, why don't you.

he looks at me in confusion and disbelief and freedom rings in the pop of the clasp of the belt that holds him into that seat. sliding him in place, i get behind and hold him in...and push...and push...until our worlds spin...and he does not need legs...or more than one arm...to fly.

i cry, blaming the wind, while he smiles wide, on a day neither of us will soon forget.

not even those gang bangers that watch us still.

because we touched heaven today.

written for Imperfect Prose

and One Shot Wednesday is still kicking it live, so write a poem and stop by.

105 comments:

Echo said...

Telling, whole grain, a story of few words that describes the world.

Matty said...

You are a true champion.

Myrna R. said...

So nice to find heaven, in what other's may perceive as sacrifice.

It's a lovely story.

Thanks for it.

Bonnie said...

It is so good to know that you are out there, doing what you do. Thank you Brian.

Daniel said...

Lovely and touching. Everyday folks acting the hero. You often model it for me. Blessings.

RNSANE said...

You almost made me cry, Brian. That was a beautiful, touching story and we surely need those once in awhile.

Becky said...

Lovely story Brian!

heartspell said...

This is beautiful, bittersweet, and sends my heart soaring in hope for you and this child.... God bless you abundantly, my friend. I can't see for the thankful tears. :) Heartspell

Nessa said...

you made me cry again, brian.

HisFireFly said...

I am flying with you and the angels are singing and you have been Jesus with skin on!

natalee said...

oh my ..again you took me to another place with such vivid words...beautiful

BLOGitse said...

what a beautiful fly...

adeeyoyo said...

Brian you just keep getting better, even when I think it is impossible! What a wonderful little story; it kept me engrossed 'til the end. And what a lesson for us all!

Belinda Munoz said...

To soar, to fly, to be free, to catch a glimpse of heaven -- oh how I wish this for my son.

Lovely, Brian. Thanks for sharing.

Cindybrown said...

That so touches my heart!!!! Amazing as always Brian..

e said...

Beautiful, Brian. You inspire me.

william said...

another winner friend, bravo :)

Selina Kingston said...

I cry and I have nothing to blame it on but you ....and your ability to touch others with the way you write

Vicki Lane said...

This one gave me chills. Beautiful!

Deidra said...

Sigh. Sometimes heaven is just so close...

Monkey Man said...

Such compassion in this wonderful work.

Pat said...

Did you ever know that you're my hero? It's the little things. You made me smile today and warmed my heart.

DJan said...

Brian, you are brilliant. I've been there too. And just for you, because give so many of these away yourself: (smiles).

Titanium said...

This is life, encapsulated in experience and laughter and tears, and you've brought it to us again with exceptional grace.

CM said...

I thought it was an able-bodied boy until you actually got to the wheelchair part...so sad, I totally was thinking of how excited my boys get when they see a playground, and then I realized he wouldn't be able to go wild like my boys do.

But yet, you made it possible!

R.S. Mallari (SpK) said...

As if I've just read a full novel in minutes. Heart warming piece.

n. davis rosback said...

i can feel it too.

Goofball said...

I wish you each working day to be like this, that you may find heaven over and over again!

Betsy said...

awww...that made me cry, too!

John's comments said...

Nice poem of contrasts- child/teenager innocence/suspicion feelings/activities and so on Thanks for reading and commenting on my poem. Hope your week goes well.

emily wierenga said...

freedom rings in the pop of the clasp of the belt that holds him into that seat.

i think this is one of your best posts yet, brian... i got shivers and tears. thank you so much for linking, friend.

emily wierenga said...

ps. and thank you for helping this little boy feel loved.

Melissa S said...

this is so beautiful brian! I echo what Emily said...that line set shivers up my spine too.

Katherine said...

Brian I've shed these wind provoked tears many a time too through the years working with young ones with disabilities. This was so eloquently written and how blessed these young ones are to have you in their lives and visa versa. In my experience they are some of the best tutors on LIVING that you could ever meet. Just Lovely!

Carrie Burtt said...

Brian this is beautiful....i think it is one of my favorites of yours!! :-)

Mighty M said...

Wow, what an amazing experience.

Tracy said...

"lint on a coat". That's the kind of lint we need more of!

Mama Zen said...

Yes, you did.

JH said...

A Beautiful Sadness, great one shot

Jill said...

Okay Brian...is this personal experience? A client maybe? Sounds like you got to experience a taste of heaven right along with this endearing young lad. What a privilege.

TALON said...

He is blessed to have you in his life as you are equally blessed to have him in yours.

Eva Gallant said...

That was a wonderful, touching story.

Cheryl said...

This is quite something.

rebecca said...

The writing truly captured the emotions behind the story....this was beautiful....thank you for sharing Brian. My hearts weeps with happiness at the blessings of both...

deb said...

Brian,
you rock.

Tina said...

We've all been given different gifts. I'm so thrilled to know someone who is using his, to the fullest, and for those who few find time for. THANKS.

Alexis Hallum said...

This brought tears to my eyes. I can't blame the wind right now, because there is none.
Lovely. . .

Tom said...

there's no greater joy than in giving joy. love the smiles--that's great payment.

beejayjr said...

Oh my goodness; this was a wonderful piece. I loved the metaphor here:

"am lint on a coat, in this neighborhood."

Great job.

Cloudia said...

Impressions telling



Warm Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

Lauri said...

such a beautiful picture, the complete surrender of spinning....such a lovely piece of heaven

Caty said...

beautiful! a life long memory created :)

Beedeebabee said...

Gosh...I read it, then read it again. You are special, and your writing is beautiful. Paulette

Magpie said...

Brian, what a wonderful moment to share with us. You've taken us along for the ride and we've all gotten a glimpse of heaven and for those who care to pay attention, an understanding of how to touch it ourselves.

Kat_RN said...

Excellent!
Kat

secret agent woman said...

That's just lovely.

Donnetta Lee said...

Oh, sweet story, Brian. Beautiful as is usual for you! D

kkrige said...

aw, Brian you got me. You have such a sensitive and beautiful soul.
I love;
"i am lint on a coat, in this neighborhood."

"and push...and push...until our worlds spin...and he does not need legs...or more than one arm...to fly.

i cry, blaming the wind, while he smiles wide"

you capture the moment and emotions with a heart-warming grace.

AngelMay said...

Very nice, Brian. Very nice, indeed.

signed...bkm said...

great story...we all need to touch heaven and help others touch it too...bkm

she said...

awesome! I used to work with kids with disabilities, too. They are amazing teachers!

ninotaziz said...

This is the loveliest of stories, Brian. Magical!

Just Be Real said...

This post found its way to my heart. Thanks Brina.

Misty said...

brian, this is grace. grace is being legs for someone w/out, sanity for some in dementia, a voice for those w/out one.
and he flew.
He lets us fly in amazing ways.
this is beautiful.

Lori said...

You never cease to amaze me Brian...your way with words gets me every time...I sure am thankful for people like you that have such good hearts. XX

Zuzana said...

This reminds me of a moment not so long time ago, when I played with my niece and nephew. I was having so much fun, running around like a lunatic, screaming and shouting, feeling a wave of extreme happiness. It was a happiness so different from the tranquil one I feel usually; it was a happiness that I used to feel as a child.

Beautiful post and thank you for bringing back a beautiful moment in time for me...
xoxo

Candie Bracci said...

Absolutely amazing!

penelopephoebe said...

Wow!

Valerie said...

Only your writing can move me so ... loved this so much I felt I was in heaven too.

Pauline said...

heaven is so close, isn't it?

Birdie said...

it feels good to make someone else happy doesn't it? (I almost have to say the same like you did in your comment for me but it applies here as well ...) you see, Brian, I was right when I wrote in my post once that you are a beautiful person ... I hope that the boy is loosing a bit of his anger now and that he also gets the support from his parents ... heaven is all around if we want to ... happy day!

Manda said...

This is a beautiful touching story... thanks for sharing your brush of heaven.

TechnoBabe said...

Touching heaven as you describe it is something I want to do too. Getting the chance to feel that happiness with a youngster who only knows hardship. Lots of feelings evoked while reading your words. Mostly love. The real kind.

Nancy said...

Having eyes to see his unspoken desire. This is grace.

JStar said...

Those moments are a piece of Heaven and to be cherished :)

Lorraine said...

I see you, you know so easily I see you as one of those Guardian at the Heaven's Gate, that will help humans adjust and understand, and help those that still suffering from their lives on earth

Shrinky said...

Lint on a coat. So perfectly descriptive. Reading this brought a lump to my throat. Beautiful.

annell said...

You touched my heart, as you often do. Is this on purpose? I can hear you say, "the devil made me do it."
Or is it because it touches your heart, too. Do you cry as you write? And your words get washed away? Then you know you have it? Thanks

(That was a little old fashioned, wasn't it? I think you probably write on the computer, and unless you get the keyboard wet, cry all you like....)

Leslie said...

There are many whose spirits fly free while their bodies are bound by illness or infirmity. And there are those who are trapped, either spiritually or physically, or both. I'm glad this little boy got a day to fly on that merry-go-round, and I hope his spirit flies free, too.

Leslie said...

P.S. And I can't help wondering if you used that term, "cripple wheel chaired boy" on purpose. Were you pointing out the way we tend to label people who are externally different but internally unique and valuable?
Because it read so stark, so hurtful, and I felt the hurt of being him and having people look and say things like that, devaluing him, making him a "thing" and not a person. And then he flew... above it all. I hope he can. I hope he does.

Dianne said...

You have such compassion for those with disabilities.
Thank you for opening eyes.
Thanks for the ride...
Dianne

Kulio said...

'I am lint on a coat' - yeah! nice.

Linda said...

This is just so touching, so miraculously beautiful. Your words brought such joy.

keLi said...

love this, what you've captured here ... that you are given these glimpses of eternity because you are willing to be His love to those in need. beautiful post.

Jen said...

Don't start none, won't be none...most of the time...

Claudia said...

i love your poem bri - but more than this i love what you do for this boy - you're amazing and thank god you are there for him and thank god you are brave enough to put him on this swing and be his substitute first and feel the breeze for him - and then his challenger. you didn't only touch heaven but my heart as well

ladyfi said...

This was so moving... says she, wiping away a tear.

slommler said...

So beautiful Brian...sniff!!! I felt his whole world expand!!
Hugs
SueAnn

drybottomgirl said...

I would like to blame the "wind' for my tears too, but I'm in my office and there's no breeze to be found! Beautiful, and touching. Thank you for all you do for so many people.....

Bev said...

well, that just put a big lump in my throat!
beautiful, just beautiful...

Bethany Ann said...

see! it's that childlike faith in action!

Kati patrianoceu said...

Though not the same, this reminds me of when I took my 2-year-old nephew to the playground. He could barely walk on his own, but he confidently found his way to dangerous spots and looked at me with eyes the showed he wasn't scared because he trusted me. It broke my heart because I am thrilled he's loved, and can barely imagine living without that love and confidence of being loved. So all that is to say, your story inspired me that there is love out there for little boys who want to play on the slide.

Dulce said...

What a story ... love that ending
because we touched heaven today.
:)

lakeviewer said...

Oh, beautiful, two friends sharing heaven, among a possible hell around them. Got me right here, and left me speechless.

Jen Chandler said...

The story of a hero.
I loved it :) I even cried a little.

Sam Liu said...

Brian...what to say...your every piece of writing takes my breath away. This is such a tender, endearing and powerful tale. Beautiful, simply beautiful.

sarah said...

this is the best Brian...I feel this everytime I play with my kids...me and them...them and me...free...flying...touching heaven. ☺

The Retired One said...

that sound you are hearing is me...clearing that huge lump in my throat.
Marvelous heart you have, my friend Brian!!!

Wandering On Purpose said...

True stories like this remind me that there is still a lot of good, a lot of hope in the world.

Rachel said...

This was encouraging, like how you make story so lyrical.

patty said...

this may be the most beautiful piece i've read.ever. i'm a pediatric pt and i get that. the freedom. the joy of freedom from the confines of body. love especially to this boy, whoever he is, real or imagined, your's or another's, you or another,...

Graceful said...

You are an inspiration -- are you a Big Brother? My father-in-law was active in that program for decades and made a huge impact on one boy's life. Really amazing. Keep up the great work, Brian.

mama-face said...

sigh. you are so good. I'm wondering how they came to be in that neighborhood?

Syd said...

Heaven is where we are completely happy at that moment.

Marla said...

Brian, I am so blessed by you. The way you live your life inspires me to be more. I really mean that.

Thank you ~