Wednesday, December 22, 2010

twas a couple nights before christmas...

nothing special, we sit, pushing cars around a make believe town created by blocks and talk about the holiday. he won't see his dad, hasn't seen him much in a year, hung up on him the other night. "it doesn't matter," he says, but it does.

he crawls across the floor, stumps, where legs once lived, pushing him along. his wish list is not great, he does not expect much. a stack of packages balances precariously against the wall between the couch and the kitchen table, brought by people he does not know. his brother is jealous, but he reassures him that they will share whatever is behind the shiny paper.

rounding the corner, a blue camaro pulls into a driveway by the lego house and he looks up at me, his brown eyes plumbing mine. pushing his body into sitting position, he lopes his one good arm awkwardly across my shoulder, the nest of his nappy hair pressing into my face.

"you my best friend, you know."

i sit in the moment, while he goes back to pushing the cars around the neighborhood on the faded plastic map, creating life out of little pieces of plastic, stuck together. tucking his words into my pocket, i will pull them out on hard days, when he is telling me to go away, when he is yelling obscenities, when he is throwing things at me and remember a precious christmas gift.

better than anything you can wrap...

88 comments:

deb said...

Brian,
May you always have peace and love,
and know it.
It must be so incredibly difficult, this calling of yours,
but who will ever know the ripples of your love and integrity, how you make a difference and it will matter whether you get to know and see it or not.

Cheryl said...

I've got a pocket a little like that one. Sometimes I forget it's there. Thanks for reminding me they are just kids who're hurting.

Fiercely written.

Daniel said...

Yeah, this is the real treasure, the real gift. Blessings to you.

Pat said...

Understanding that this is REAL and not FICTION gave me such a lump in my throat. You are an angel put here on earth, Brian. Bless you. I will pray for that little guy. And his brother.

Birdie said...

yes, I always thought that you were most probably his best friend since you started to write about this little boy ... it's beautiful and I'm happy that he has you and that you have him! Merry Christmas to you and your family Brian!

Lori said...

Oh Brian with tears I say, thank you for touching the lives that you do...you truly are a treasure...I know working with hurting children/people rips your heart out because you care so much...but your doing so does make a difference...I will pray for these little boys...you are right Brian, the real gifts are these moments and the people we share them with..priceless...Bless you and your big heart Brian...mine just grew bigger reading this. XX

Lorraine said...

You are a precious human being Brian...and fabulous writer but that's def. second to the first

Susan Deborah said...

Some people are a gift not by doing anything but by just being THERE. You are one of them and I am glad to have met you along the way.

Mountains of joy and rivers of peace,
Susan

Shell said...

Masterful storytelling...I say that, again and again, but always, but so true. Your kind heart shines. Lucky, all who feel that warmth.

AmyLK said...

so beautiful. you are so lucky! May you always find those moments, either with your own sons or your kids. You are a special person, Brian!

Paul C said...

Tucking his words into my pocket...a story which also reaches the heart.

Joanie M said...

That is powerful.

PattiKen said...

Oh, this is so touching. bless you for being there for these children ones who have so little. The difference you make in their lives will be measured in years.

kaleidoscope said...

better than anything we can wrap....beautiful my friend:)

Liza said...

"his brown eyes plumbing mine"
"i sit in the moment"
killer lines Brian!!!

"tucking his words into my pocket, i will pull them out on hard days"
so beautiful Brian, really.

Your opening words "nothing special", I just have to say, oh but this is Brian!!! SPECIAL!!!

Melinda Owens said...

Heartbreakingly beautiful...Merry Christmas. Thanks for this gift.

Raven said...

Just lovely, Brian. I needed to read this one, what with a teenager who either is screaming that she hates me or sits in sullen silence. The precious words are so few and far between I have to remember to treasure them when they come and keep them in a pocket for the future.

Merry Christmas!

The Empress said...

I'm just going to say it.

I think that secretly you are a published author who just pretends to be a regular guy blogger.

That's what I think.

Merry Christmas, Brian...there are no words I can think of to thank you for your friendship.

Please understand what I say when I say, "thank you, Brian, for your time, your friendship, your support of Baby E."

You are what is right with the world.

Thank you.

Tom said...

everyone should have that pocket...
Merry Christmas Brian.
t

gaelikaa said...

Treasures appear in odd places...

Merry Christmas Brian

Mmm said...

This so reminds me of that movie with Jamie Fox and the iron Man fellow about a homeless chap who when lucid was incredible but also when not, horrid and even scary.

So well written, Brian, as always. i love your big heart for people.

In case I can't get on line by xmas again, I do want to wish you a very joyous happy and unexpected Christmas full of good things...just for you! :)

May i also take this time to thank you for your gift of mercy, hope and ministry of reconciliation you offer to those of us in the blog lad. I see your comments all over the place, faithfully coming along side so many , even those who have few public commenter and I admire that tremendously.

you are the measure of a good man, a good friend, a good husband to me. I look up to you and am so glad for all your pour into others' lives, her in blog land and in your own personal life I well imagine.

So, again, Brian, a very Happy Christmas to you and a new year full of wonderful surprises and joys untold. :)

Bernie said...

Another gentle reminder to count our blessings of which you have many my friend. Merry Christmas to you and your family.....:-)Hugs

Boom Boom Larew said...

The most exquisite gifts are often the most fleeting. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Brian!

Tabor said...

I have always been inspired by your writing but never really thought about where it came from...so you do this? It is no wonder that you write.

drybottomgirl said...

God gives us special people to do special jobs, and you my friend are one special chosen person. What an awesome gift he gave you and you will probably never know how much you give him, but you do know that you have made a difference in this person's life, and may you continue to bless many more....excellent write, and of course I cried....

Kevin P. Mahan said...

Preciously transparent Brian. Thank you.

Tina said...

Beautiful. Thanks for the reminder that we have pockets like that. I need to look in mine more often. Thanks for being that guy who can handle the stress of helping the hurting. I'm glad to know you.

Baino said...

Yep. Friendship in all its incarnations is the most valuable of things.

Sophia said...

Brian, very powerful and touching [real] story. I cannot imagine how that impacted your personally. Yes, carry that little note around in your pocket for as long as you need to! :)

Claudia said...

this is indeed better than anything you can wrap..loved the tuckin of his words into your pocket...think we should do this always with all the nice words until our pockets become so heavy we can hardly walk - and then pull them out when life gets difficult...nice one brian - loved it - you and your little flyer - yep - you make him fly..

Bachelor said...

I'm sure you are a good friend! :)
Merry Christmas, Brian!
Lord Thomas of Wellington

Tara Miller said...

You are a ray of hope in the lives of so many hurting kids. I have always been so proud of the love and encouragement you pour into these children. It's so powerful whan we are working to help others and they turn around and bless us without even realizing it. I can tell that his words touched your heart....as yours touch mine....

Maggie May said...

It is a wonderful thing for a child to have a special friend like you.
Christmas cannot be better than that.
Happy Christmas, Maggie X

Nuts in May

Monkey Man said...

We are blessed, if we keep our minds clear and eyes open.

... Paige said...

it's a good thing they make pockets deep enough to hold the best things and shallow enough we can find just what we need when it's needed

Mom said...

Tuck the words in your pocket and recognize them as the encouraging words sent by God as you work with children like this. I learned much from the children I taught as you do with those you mentor.

Goofball said...

it makes me silent, I want this to sink in.

Thanks for being his Christmas gift as he is for you

rosaria said...

Ouch! This tells quite a story.

nance marie said...

sweetness and light.

this gives me an idea
to put little notes into
pockets.

Kate Hanley said...

A few years ago, a friend, commentin about another woman, said, "Sometimes you choose the job, sometimes the job chooses you." I get the feeling, this job chose you. Not everyone can do something like this. Happy Christmas and God bless!

Dulce said...

Most and best gifts in life ... money cannot buy.

You shine , man!

Merry Christmas and love to you and your family

;)

KB said...

I have tears Brian.

Pastor Sharon said...

Goodness Brian. It's good to know about that little pocket. I am going to sew one on everything I wear just for moments like these.

The story is lovely and I am sure it's not always a thankful job. . .actually can be pretty thankless. But then it wasn't a job to begin with. It's a calling and you answered because you are the angel that child needs in his life!

You are the best friend he could have.

ds said...

Completely unwrappable, and completely heartwarming. Yes, that is a moment to sit in whenever things get hard, and also when they are easy. Thank you for sharing it.

Candie Bracci said...

Really nice one Brian!

gayle said...

To make a difference in a child's life is one of the best things we can do in life!! Have a wonderful Christmas!

Heather said...

brian, what a tremendous gift...keep it safe there in your pocket...(tears from this one...) Merry Christmas to you and your family, brian! xxoo

Janice said...

Oh, yes...precious Christmas gifts come in many forms. This post was so rich.

The Retired One said...

Oh Brian, this one made me cry.
You earn your angel wings with glory as we get a glimpse of what your daily interactions are with some of these kids....
may you gain strength from our admiration of you and how well you perform your job, as I am sure there are many days and moments that you must call upon this strength..because you have such a huge heart.

Laura said...

Brian,
the way you love...so beautiful. the words are just the exclamation point.

kkrige said...

That is a pretty special gift. Definitely better than anything that you can wrap. One note; I think a minor typo (or maybe not). You say that he "lopes" his arm around you. While it kind of works, I think "loops" might flow better. Just saying...

Magpie said...

All the best things can't be wrapped and that was a wonderful gift he gave so innocently.

sage said...

Nice, you're not only a good storyteller, your a good person

Kathy's Klothesline said...

You have a good heart, my friend.

Syd said...

That is a wonderful thing that you do. You bring a lot of hope to many people.

Sumit Sarkar said...

This is so touching and heartfelt...
great write :)

amandatdodson said...

Love, love this - especially the part of putting it in your pocket. Laps around lego land are priceless (and go by too quickly). Merry Christmas!

Shail Raghuvanshi said...

Beautiful...like always.

~ Tabitha ~ said...

That was a beautiful read this evening..thank you for sharing,Brian.

Pauline said...

Wishing a happy Christmas to you and yours. What a gift for the rest of us that you post your words here - thanks :)

Valerie said...

You touch the lives of all you meet, Brian, and that includes the blogging fraternity. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

slommler said...

A moment of clarity and profound love! Beautifully written Brian!
Merry Christmas and hugs
SueAnn

the walking man said...

You're a good man all year long Brian.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Amen Brian! Thank you for sharing this.

Somehow Nick Vujicic comes to mind.

Everytime I begin to hate the circumstances of someone I hear about I realize that there are people in the world who have overcome every single circumstance for a greater purpose.

You Brian are one of those people I think of when I realize there is great beauty in someone who spends time in great hardships sharing the light!

kaykuala said...

It's so comforting. A hope and a prayer for the little boy. To think this is not fiction!

sheila said...

Oh that is joyous and I have produced tears! ("produced" tears? oh goodness, lol) Merry Christmas, what a beautiful post!

Six Feet Under Blog said...

Just stopping by all my followers to wish a Merry Christmas!

Nezzy said...

I can't even begin to tell you how this story has touched my heart.

You are a blessing to the little guy and to us.

Hang on to those little treasures man!

God bless ya'll and have a very Merry Christmas surrounded by the love of those your hold dear.

...and a plate full of fudge, of course!!! :o)

Friko said...

dear Brian,
I've not known you long enough to know where this story comes from but even coming to it in ignorance of the facts behind it, I can say that it is incredibly touching.

I believe that a very kind heart beats in the writer of this story.

A happy Christmas to you and yours,

Much love, Friko

Slamdunk said...

Brian:

Thanks for sharing your powerful experiences. May we all find a "lego town" to help others.

R. Burnett Baker said...

Amen! Brian, Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Rick

TechnoBabe said...

The fact that you are consistent and keep going back showing this little boy he is loved demonstrates the kind of man you are. I admire you and your example so very much. My heart hugs this little boy who needs it so much.

Rebecca S. said...

So much truth here. I don't know much about your circumstances, but your offering today says so much about the way it really is. Blessings to you and your family.

Lisa notes... said...

Brian, your words never fail to reach me. And you are obviously reaching this young man. May God give you the strength and the memory to keep doing it! Blessings!

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Brian,

This story struck a deep note in my heart.Very touching story.There are so many children like this all over the world who need attention and kindness.

Wish you and your wonderful family a lovely Christmas full of peace,joy and happiness.
Joseph

Hilary said...

You are truly a gem.. to so many.

Jill said...

Your minutes with this boy are FOREVER in his mind AND yours. It is work yet it is SO NOT WORK. It is a blessing EVEN with the screamed obscenities and anger...because YOU show up.

Merry Christmas to you, T and the boys! May it be filled with the goodness ONLY God can provide.

Caty said...

awesome story, Brian. definitely makes the job worth it even on the bad days. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

that was beautiful brian.

wish you a beautiful christmas.

trisha
mydomainpvt.wordpress.com

Prospective ... said...

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only a movie said...

You and I do work with the exact same kids.

Don't you just love it?

Merry Christmas, Brian. xo

♥ Braja said...

beautiful

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...
This post is very reflective, very sad, and show how things return to normalcy after the holiday.

What a wonderful person you are to share your time and how patience you are with other too!

Thanks, for sharing this post with your readers, this Christmas evening too!
DeeDee ;-D

Shewriting said...

these are the moments I live for...like little glimpses of heaven.

She Writes said...

You got me.

Myrna R. said...

I can relate to you Brian. I know the pain and joy that mixes and stings from caring. But, don't stop.

Syd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue said...

Guess I hadn't "met" you yet when you wrote this one.

I purposely went to your blog archives looking for December. I knew you would do Christmas well.

=)