Thursday, June 3, 2010
When Michael was five
Michael always seemed to compare everything he did to when he was five. He would say things like, “I couldn't do that when I was five, or remember when I was five”. We even have a picture of him with a big white plastic number five that we use to chuckle about since it so appropriately matched his mantra. Oddly enough Michael was five when everything in his life began to change.
Michael loved to ride his bike. He had a favorite little black bike that he would ride non stop up and down the driveway. We even accumulated extra bikes from garage sales and family members for the day he would advance to another size bike. Sadly that day never came. Instead he transitioned into a blue battery operated scooter named “Scoot-Scoot” and eventually three different types of wheelchairs.
Michael loved anything with a motor and that could go fast. One summer while on vacation my husband spotted a cute red four wheeler that we ended up buying for Michael’s sixth birthday. Now I think we must have been crazy buying a four wheeler for a small six year old boy. But the memory of that grand birthday celebration complete with a covered surprise in a secluded spot at his Grandparents farm, assures me we did the right thing. It was priceless to watch his excitement as he ripped through the covered display, revealing his favorite birthday present ever. He rode on that little red four wheeler year after year, both summer and winter. Even when the disease robbed him of his mobility he could still ride it, pretending things were the same like when he was five.
Party should have been Michael’s middle name. He loved to invite friends and family over or better yet be able to go to someone’s house for a party. Secretly he would always have the hope and possibility of being able to stay over night, extending the fun into one more day. For hours he would play games and watch movies, eating snacks and drinking pop until his stomach hurt. Michael was the kind of kid who just loved to be with someone or simply be by someone. I use to comment about how Michael was literally attached to my hip; Funny how that is the very thing I long for now. When Michael was little, prior to age five, I had a job working from home and he had to have his little desk right next to mine. Day after day he would spend hours at that little desk cutting paper strips, making paper chains for various occasions. One of his paper chains was even used by a local youth group which prayerfully supported us prior to his kidney transplant.
As I reflect over Michael’s thirteen years of life I am consistently reminded of how wise he was beyond his years including his (not so random after all) comparisons to when he was five. I am, to my knees, grateful for the memories and the experiences we share with our angel Michael. Most of them inspiring Be the Change.
If only we could have just one more party with you Michael. I promise you could stay over night.