“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.” Anonymous
I first met Carl when he came to StarShine Academy as a kindergartener in a very small wheelchair. Carl was born with brittle bone disease. I introduced him to you in an early post titled, “Ben’s Book.”
Carl could make that chair fly. When he was in the 1st grade, he wanted to help as a “trash picker upper” while the other children were climbing the monkey bars, going down the slides and running about on the playground. So…Jan fitted him with a short stick that had a pointed end and off he went whizzing around picking up errant pieces of paper blowing around on the campus. You would have thought he was slaying dragons.
When Carl was in the 2nd grade, we connected. One day, with no more papers to pick up, he sat watching the other children at play. I saw him and invited him to come into the library with me and talk about books. He took me up on the offer and off we went to the library. Carl’s imagination knew no bounds, and when I suggested that we might write a book together his eyes lit up. And so the book Rapscallion took life. Carl told me exactly how the story should develop and I wrote it all down. I would type the story at home and the next week bring a copy back to Carl. And so it went week after week, until Carl had to, once again, go into the hospital for another surgery. We never returned to our story, but he had a copy and I had a copy. I missed our time together and I missed Carl.
Last week, after not seeing Carl for several years, I was working in the library when Jan poked her head around the corner and said, “Mom, there is someone here who wants to see you.” Carl walked, with the aid of two small crutches, into the library. When I saw that dear little face, I had one of those precious moments that took my breath away.
Carl is back at StarShine. He is now 10 years old and is in the 4th grade. Jan has asked me if I would spend time with him once a week. I plan to start meeting with him in a few weeks. What will we do?
Finish writing Rapscallion, of course.
By Lois Jamieson
If you enjoyed this inspirational Kids Without Stuff story about the kids at StarShine Academy, you will want to read: