Henry's Blog

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Steady Wish

"Love is not affectionate feeling,
but a steady wish
for the loved person's ultimate good
as far as it can be obtained" -
C. S. Lewis

Autumn arrived abruptly. It's crisp cool mornings offer a welcome relief to the thick and unrelenting summer bog, but the gray overcast and shortening of the days somberly echo Henry's shrinking world.

Henry remains a warrior - a gentle warrior. His fight is one to retain his dignity and sense of self. He recently asked us: What if I can never walk again? The simple reply was to just deal with what each day gives us. He was surprisingly satisfied with that answer and has lived that way ever since, with an astounding lack of despair or bitterness. We have heard virtually no complaints as he endures the daily caths and bandage changes, as his filmy left eye became limp and useless and as he lost his ability to hold up his head and control his arms (which cost him the ability to draw, build legos and play his beloved video games). His greatest frustration comes from his now limited speech, and our frequent inability to understand him. Nonetheless, his spirit is not and will not be taken down. Just yesterday he was looking though magazines with Mama and choosing the new movies he wanted to see and new video games he still wanted to play: he will not let his future dreams be taken away.

Every day we celebrate the Wishing Hour, or the wishing minute, to be more precise. A classmate and good friend of Henry taught him to make as many wishes as he could at 11:11 until 11:12. So every day, twice a day, at 11:11 am and 11:11 pm we make as many wishes as we can. Everyone knows you're not supposed to tell your wishes if you want them to come true, but Henry did let slip that one of his wishes was for world peace. Mama and Dad have wished pretty much the same wish, every day, twice a day, for three months. We won't tell, but I'll wager you can guess our wish.

There have been a lot of wishes made on Henry's behalf. Wishes have come in all forms and from all over the world: cards and letters, pins and key chains, homemade blankets and prayer quilts. There have been benefits and tributes for Henry by all the local public schools, the local prep school and the art center where Dad works. The RET Foundation held a 5k run in Henry's honor. There have been prayers, prayer groups, songs sung and candles lit by the thousands. And there was the good luck coin that sailed through the magical jade statue in Beijing. Unfortunately, whatever entities on the receiving end of all these wishes apparently have their own plans.

Those plans damn well better be worthy of Henry.


Anonymous Alisa Papp said...

Henry- It is early morning of Sept 26th and I have just read your blog. My heart is overcome with saddness and my eyes full of tears. I also pray and wish for you everyday. You are a strong little boy that is loved by many. I will continue to pray for you and wish that all of yours and yours parents wishes do come true. Lots of love and a great big hug!! Love- Mrs. Alisa

1:46 AM  
Anonymous Michelle & Trevin W. said...

Dear Henry - Although I haven't commented much on your blog - I do read it as often as possible and share it with Trevin also. He smiles when he hears your name as I'm sure he remembers how kind you always were to him. Wish we weren't so far away - but we are thinking about you! Love and prayers, Ms. Michelle and Trevin

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you all, and will add 11:11 am and 11:11 to my daily wishes/prayers for you.


1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Henry,I will never look at 11:11 the same again... wishes are what dreams are made of... jc

9:35 PM  
Blogger judith said...

Henry - i have not been communicating with you this way, but have been in touch w/your wonderful mother to check on you. You are a strong boy and there are a lot of people praying for you! Kiefer and I think and speak of you all the time and would love to visit when you are up to it.
Love, Miss Judith

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Carly Desimone and HHIMS said...

Henry- I miss you very very much. Our school is very lonley without you. The whole Stingray family misses you dearly , and many others.

Love your friend
Carly DeSimone
and the Stingray family

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are now reading your blog in computer apps.We both didnt know you, but have heard alot about you. We are very sorry but your in a better place now. God just needed an angel. My mom(Kathy O'Leary) was crying last night becasue of your tragedy. We will miss you. Lots of love.
Kenzie O'Leary & Elaine Natoli

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drew Lovette

We all miss you very much i hope you are happy in Heaven!!!!

3:28 PM  
Anonymous jazmine morgan said...

henry i miss you so much along with all your friends at hhims

jazmine morgan

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though I didn't know I'm still filled with sorrow. Ur in a much better place now. The whole school will miss u terribly!
A HHIMS friend

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We will always miss you, I have a song Lyric that every time i hear it it reminds me of you its " Peace to this young warrior." He is in a better place now.

Sinceirley, Matt Handley

7:35 PM  

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