The Spirit Who Had a Bank Account
I met Gerard in a special unit of the state mental hospital, one reserved for the most severely handicapped. His back was twisted and his legs were bent at crazy angles. He had never talked or walked or even crawled. He spent his waking hours on a cart.
At age 16, he had outlived all predictions, in part, I have no doubt, because of attitude.
Gerard’s eyes glittered with humor. In front of him was a special device on which he had learned to type messages. For me he typed a number. He laughed with impish glee. The attendant explained that that was his bank account number.
I said, “That’s great!”
We laughed more together.
In Gerard I had seen the force of a spirit undaunted by the difficulties of being in a body that to another might have seemed a terrible trap. He had made his body an adequate vehicle for living.
I was there to bring love to these supposedly desolate children, but Gerard topped me. I chuckled about him throughout the day. I knew what that bank account meant. “I am a person complete. I’m in the game.”
He sure was.