when words fail me, which is often, I paint. When words work for me and are available on time, I am surprised.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

In His Hands

When Adam was nine, he spent the summer with his cousins. They live on a mini farm in the country. The road in front of the field is a busy two lane, busy for the country that is. Speed limit forty-five but most people drive faster than that.

Here's the story, you may have heard it before:

Four kids outside in front of the house, laughing their little heads off. Summertime, carefree, playing with the new addition to the family, a three month old Boxer puppy.
Leon Spinks,Leoni for short,the puppy,takes off running in a game of chase across the street.

Adam, with his tunnel vision focus on leoni, chases after him.

Minivan cruising fifty miles an hour, it all happens so fast.

Yes Leoni made it across the street unharmed, Adam was not so lucky.

His young body was thrown a football field's length from the road.Pegasus, our medivac helicopter lifted his body into the sky to take him to the hospital. While in the helicopter, his heart stopped beating four times. Four times he was resuscitated.

He was in a coma for six weeks. The doctors told his parents he would be a "Vegetable" for the rest of his life. They ALWAYS say that, because they don't know how to admit they don't know anything about the brain.Better to just prepare the parents for the worst, right?

He woke up, his brain began to heal. Adam was fourteen when I met him.He has eyes like aqua-blue marbles when the sunlight shines through them. He's regained the use of his hands but they still cramp and sometimes they just won't work the way he wants them to. Although he mainly travels in a wheelchair, he can walk. That's something no vegetable I know can do. His speech is slower than normal, but he can talk. Adam had a way of beginning to answer me in conversation well before I had completed the gist of my statement. He knew what I was going to say before I said it, he had to make up for his speech delay. Adam had the energy of a saint; sweet, patient and happy.

In the sensory institute, center for healing and integration of acquired brain injuries and a wide variety of spectrum disorders, I spent an hour a day for twelve consecutive days with this young man.

My part time job as an assistant in this cutting edge center is not only a job that feeds my bank account but one that feeds my soul.

Adam reclined on the table that rocks gently from side to side, the light box overhead displayed every visible color in the visual light spectrum. The room was completely darkened he listened to the specially engineered Cds on the headphones.

We played words games sometimes, other times he said he just wanted to rest.
On his last day he asked me to massage his hands while he rested. His hands often cramped while he was on the table.

I held his hand and closed my eyes in the quiet, dark room.

I rose into the clouds. I saw Adam holding on to the hand of God.

"I don't want to he said." Over and over again, Adam pleaded with God.
He wanted to stay.

God responded to Adam, words without any sound or physical source in the clouds, safe from the pain of the physical world.
God told him he had to return, it wasn't time yet.

Tears streamed down my cheeks as I witnessed their conversation.

The table stopped rocking. Instead of turning the lights back on slowly as he normally did,Adam held my hand in the darkness a few moments longer.

As I attempted to dry my tears, he turned the light on and sought my eyes with his own.


And then he said, "Thank you".


thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

What a beautiful story.

Jerri said...

Beautiful. Loving. Perceptive and receptive.

Totally Stacy.

Matt said...


In my experience, I began to have existential crises at the age of four--as do most people--so it as highly amusing as a teenager to hear my kid sister tell us about a dream she had the night before.

The little girl siddles up to the breakfast table and something's clearly on her mind as five older siblings and her parents racuously ignore her.

"...and then God said, 'Anne, you will not die when you're old...."

We pause. She's waiting to hear reassurance. How we roared with laughter!

Thekla said...

This story touched my soul and every layer around it.