Friday, August 29, 2008

Non-discriminating Angels

I always think of my angels as MY angels... not anyone else's. That is, I thought the joy they spread was spread so much more abundantly for me than for others. I never considered it might be otherwise until last Wednesday when the Captain and I brought the kids to an outdoor country western concert in Eisenhower Park. Of course, we arrived the requisite 15 minutes late so most of the shady spots were already taken. Without scoping the crowd out, we quickly spied a blanket-sized, shady spot in the grass and claimed it. Our Wendy's lunch unpacked, the boys out of their stroller, my old soul already tap, tap, tapping away, we settled down to enjoy the show. Initially, the boys were hesitant about the louder-than-usual, live music. No worries, though. Their trepidation wore off about 15 seconds after the music seeped into their bones and they began to sway, then bop, then bounce and, finally, the music moved them to their feet in a full-out, all-body 2-step of their own creation. By the close of the first song, they were cheering and applauding when they suddenly realized they were NOT alone in their praise but, instead, were surrounded by scores of people.

It was a lovely day and the weather brought out people of all colors, ages and ability/disability. Particularly in our section of the lawn were men, women and children with wheelchairs, walkers, communication boards... You name it... Those with "disabilities" were as equally represented as those with "abilities" in a world where this is not always the case. We had unknowingly settled near the access ramp where the handicap buses dropped off their charges.

When Brian's and Michael's rock-star tunnel vision wore off (they only had eyes for the band, at first), they began perusing, then working, the crowd. Shaking hands, introducing each other, seemingly stumping for dual mayor-ship. And, as always, dragging their sister, "Ala" along for intros when they realized their names were not understood by their future constituents. (Besides, what's a politician without a pretty girl by his side on the campaign trail?) They indiscriminately went from person to person, wheelchair to wheelchair, extending their hands in kinship, friendship, to shake and be shaken, no matter whose hand it was. Young and old, male and female, abled and disabled. One gentleman whose body was severely wracked with Cerebral Palsy, maneuvered his wheelchair to within inches of our blanket so that he could be touched by the angels... Brian reached up as this man awkwardly extended his mangled hand... You could almost see the light of belief shining in his eyes... "I am touched by an angel!"

For a 30 foot radius from our little blanket, Brian and Michael became a side show unto themselves. Dancing, hugging, high-fiving, hand-shaking... spreading joy and laughter to everyone they touched. I am sure that I will never forget the day and even more certain that gentleman with CP and the elderly woman they danced with and the young woman in the wheelchair beside us will also never forget Brian and Michael. So, they are everyone's angels... if you only take the opportunity to shake their hands, accept their hugs, receive their love, and believe!

1 comment:

MaggieMae said...

Side Note: I was so touched by their ability to bring happiness to others that I decided for this holiday season, as well as neighborhood Christmas Caroling per our family tradition, we are going to visit group homes and hospices... to help spread the joy.
- Brian & Michael's mom, Maggie -