The Handicapped Hero Story
by ronrichmond | on May 4, 2012
The Handicapped Hero Story
This is a tale about a Handicapped Lad
Who became an unlikely hero
and two teams of normal young heroes
who made the handicapped lad a hero.
You’ve probably heard the tale already
It’s been making the rounds on the internet
I thought a blog might also do some justice
For this unlikely Handicapped Hero.
What would you do?….
you make the choice.
Don’t look for a punch line,
there isn’t one.
Read it anyway.
My question is:
Would you have made the same choice?
Handicapped Hero’s Dad speaks
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 by outside influences,
everything nature does,
is done with 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 was mentally and physically disabled
comes into 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:
The Handicapped lad’s story
Shay and I had walked past a park
where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball.
‘Do you think they’ll 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
and some confidence to be accepted by others
in spite of his handicaps.
If you don’t ask . . . .
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 the 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.
Young kids can be heroes too
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat
and give away their chance to win the game?
However, as Shay stepped up to the Plate,
recognizing that the other team
was putting winning aside
for this moment in Shay’s life,
moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly
so Shay could at least make contact.
The first pitch came and
Shay swung clumsily and missed.
The pitcher again took a few steps forward
to toss the ball softly towards Shay.
As the pitch came in,
Shay swung at the ball
and hit a slow ground ball
right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder
and could have easily thrown the ball
to the first baseman.
Shay would have been out and that
would have been the end of the game.
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball
right over the first baseman’s head,
out of reach of all team mates.
Everyone from the stands
and both teams started yelling,
‘Shay, run to first!
Run to first!’
Never in his life
had Shay ever run that far,
but he made it to first base.
He scampered down the baseline,
wide-eyed and startled.
‘Run to second, run to second!’
Catching his breath,
Shay awkwardly ran towards second,
gleaming and struggling
to make it to the base.
By the time Shay rounded towards second base,
the right fielder had the ball.
The smallest guy on their team
who now had his first chance
to be the hero for his team.
He could have thrown the ball
to the second-baseman for the tag,
but he understood the pitcher’s intentions
so he, too,
intentionally threw the ball high
and far over the third-baseman’s head.
All were screaming,
‘Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay’
Shay reached third base because
the opposing shortstop ran to help him
by turning him in the direction of third base,
‘Run to third!
Shay, run to third!’
As Shay rounded third,
the boys from both teams,
and the spectators,
were on their feet screaming,
‘Shay, run home! Run home!’
Shay ran to home,
stepped on the plate,
and was cheered as the hero
who hit the grand slam
and won the game for his team
said the father softly
with tears now rolling down his face,
‘the boys from both teams
helped bring a piece of true love
and humanity into this world’.
Shay didn’t make it to another summer.
He died that winter,
having never forgotten being the hero
and making me so happy,
and coming home and
seeing his Mother tearfully embrace
her little hero of the day!
Handicapped Hero – what’s his legacy?
We all send thousands of jokes
through the e-mail without a second thought,
but when it comes to sending messages
about life choices,
It seems so easy to
demonize today’s kids.
They are called “bullies”,
“misfits”, “selfish”, “cruel”….
In fact, almost 50 years ago
They even made a movie
Called “Lord of the Flies”
About kids that turned real bad
When they were left alone on an island.
In today’s world
“Winning at all costs” seems to be the main motto.
Shows in movies
Shows in computer games
Kids are programmed into
being tough, rough, uncompromising
drag their opponents into the dirt.
But this story is different
It’s what kids are capable of
If we as parents teach them properly.
So never miss any occasion
to praise the children
when they really do the right thing
and show real compassion
for their less-fortunate bretheren
Like our Handicapped Hero.
Our handicapped Shay
Was not the only hero that day
Every single member of both teams
Was just as much a hero
Because they made a hero out of Shay.
We all have thousands of opportunities
every single day to help realize
the ‘natural order of things.’
So many seemingly trivial interactions
between two people present us with a choice:
Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity
or do we pass up those opportunities
and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?
A wise man once said every society is judged
by how it treats it’s least fortunate amongst them.
You now have two choices with this blog:
1. Delete, or simply click ‘Like’
2. Share this with all your friends on Facebook and Twitter
May your day, be a Shay Day.
MAY GOD BLESS EVERYONE WHO
DECIDES TO PASS THIS ON IN MEMORY OF SHAY…………..
And when you’ve done that ….
Call your children together..
Tell them to turn off the computer…
And tell them the story of Shay
And make sure that….
You can feel the compassion in them.
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