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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Paper Arms


  My son is battling a cancerous tumor in his leg. He’s not supposed to put any unnecessary weight on it. The femur is brittle and unstable because the tumor has eaten away at it.

Being constantly bound to a couch, chair or bed , he has developed little habits. Of course he has become more comfortable asking you to get him things (thankfully he’s still polite)

  Recently he began to make things out of paper. They are mostly palm-sized stars. As he gets better at it they become more dense and sharp.

   The other day his mother called me at work and exclaimed, “Corson’s feeling better. He opened the door leaning on his cane and threw this star at me. It kinda hurt cause it’s sharp and pointy. When I yelped he chuckled and gave me his devilish grin.”

  It was good news. Tougher days will come, just as before so I am grateful for good news.  Last night he had converted to paper airplanes of various size and shapes. Some were rather sharp and compact. Others were more streamlined like those we made when I was a kid.

This morning in the hazy dawn light as I folded blankets in the den I was picking up airplanes and stars made of lined notebook paper and a thought came to mind. If I was bound to a couch, chair or bed what would I most want to do? I would want to project myself up and away from that place. I would want to physically affect those that moved about me. I would want to touch them somehow; get a reaction from them.

   In the hazy dawn those small stars and airplanes become the arms and hands of my son reaching out to touch the world around him.

  Sometimes, in this place of material existence to which I am bound, I make little paper stars and airplanes called, “the written word.” If you should find any of them lying about, maybe you could take a moment and pick them up.

  When I pass by again I’ll know that someone has been there and I’ll be better for it. Maybe we both will be.

Take it with you if you will. I have plenty. I have a feeling that my son does too.


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