"Because he's writing his own," I said.
At first, she thought I meant I was leaving his story for him to write one day. When I explained what I meant, her mouth gaped open and she stared at me, trying to process what I said. She thought my answer was somehow profound. I didn't see it that way. To me, my answer was simple honesty.
Aloshua doesn't need me to write his story for him because he writes it himself every day, in a thousand different ways. He writes his story when he looks up at complete strangers and smiles, and when complete strangers smile back. He writes it when he hugs his little sister, or tells his momma he loves her. He writes it when he pushes his little wheelchair as hard as he can each year at the March for Babies, and every time he gives one of his doctors a high five in exchange for a sticker. His story is in every bite he eats, every word he speaks, and every step he takes.
|Baby sister plays chauffer|
One of an author's primary goals is to touch others. Our goal, in some way, is to reach into our readers' lives and leave something behind, whether it's a new thought, a bit of laughter, or a few tears. Our goal is to leave behind a memory for our readers. To entertain, to challenge, or to inspire. We may not always see it quite that way, but in some way, all authors strive toward one of these goals.
But at some point, we have to realize that we can't improve on perfection. There are some things we shouldn't say, because we can't do them justice.
For me, that's Aloshua's story.
|Modeling a hat from Adopted Aunte Amy|
I don't need to tell it, because he does.
He's learned to speak for himself in a way most of us will never experience. And he does it so powerfully that nothing I could write about him would ever come close to doing him justice.
When the skating rink in his hometown hosted a fundraiser for him in January, a young mother brought her friend and their sons with her. She didn't know our family, and she'd only ever seen Aloshua once, months earlier at a McDonald's play area. He was playing with his brother and sister when she brought her son in to play. Months later, when she heard about the fundraiser, she remembered him, and she came out to see him again. Because in that short time, months earlier, he'd touched her in a way she couldn't forget. She told us she remembered his smile and the way he laughed.
|Playing with the Doctor and Mommy|
We met another lady who told us about meeting Aloshua, too. She suffers from severe depression, and doesn't leave the house much, but when she was out one day, she ran into Aloshua at the store. She said he said hi to her and his smile just melted her heart. When the paper featured an article on Aloshua, she tracked my sister down on Facebook, and added her. Every day now, she checks my sister's wall for new pictures of Aloshua. Seeing what he's up to is the highlight of her day, she told us, and she is so thankful for every picture my sister posts.
He touches people in little ways like that all the time, and he does it simply by being himself. Not a day goes by when someone doesn't come up to him to say hello, to give him a high-five, or to give him something. They always tell us that his smile just drew them in. That's not an experience I want to take from him, or from anyone else, becasuse nothing I could say would ever come close to capturing the true spirit of this little superhero.
His story is personal, powerful, and full of meaning. And he's doing just fine writing it on his own.
Why would I want to change that?