Betwixt and between

Because I am in the middle of moving from urban to rural, with the distance consuming a great part of my time, I am often hard-pressed to avoid the gnashing teeth of the ever-waiting weekly deadline. It is for this reason that I make no apologies for snitching a topic or two of interest, forwarded by friends through the magic of e-mail, to pass on to you.

Because of a similar way in which I first met my Little Lady, my wife and companion for years in the high 50s, this one strikes closer than most to my heart. It goes, in better part, like this:

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

“When not interfered with outside influences, everything nature does is done to perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?”

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued, “I believe that when a child like Shay, who is mentally and physically disabled, comes to the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.” Then he told the following story:

“Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘Do you think they would let me play?’ I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

“I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, ‘We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team, and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.’

“Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

“In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat. At this junction, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?”

Sorry folks, I have once again run out of space, so you’ll just have to wait until next week for the answer to that.

 But, let me squeeze in that I will hold a second garage sale the three days of the July 31 weekend. I’ll also have bird and bat houses available as well as a limited number of my books. It would be my pleasure to see each and every one of you then.

Take care, ‘cause we care.




Barrie Hopkins