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The Spirit Who Had a Bank Account

Updated on July 19, 2011
West Rock Ridge in New Haven, CT, as Seen from Southern State University Campus.
West Rock Ridge in New Haven, CT, as Seen from Southern State University Campus.

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.


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    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 6 years ago

      So much rich content for such a short hub!

      And, kudos to you for catching Gerard's meaning!!

      Yet another example of never making the proverbial mistake of judging a book by it's cover.

      A wonderful story, and so very happy to see Gerard highlighted.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK

      Often it's those with the least who have the most to teach us, Triciajean!

    • triciajean profile image

      Patricia Lapidus 6 years ago from Bantam, CT

      True. Thanks, amillar.

    • amillar profile image

      amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK

      Happiness and contentment are among the greatest gifts.