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Children,joy, life lessons,faith

February 10, 2014

2/10/14 Continuing on with the topic “We are not all created equal” Life circumstances provided me with a real “Buddha/Siddhartha” moment when I was sixteen years old. The vast majority of people live a lifetime living ‘spirituality’ second hand. Why me? I was the youngest member of an elite professional Brass dance band while still in high school. Lucky me. We showed up for this afternoon Gig at a middle school and were met by an astounding sight. The entire gym floor was just a mass of infants in Baby cradles some two toddlers to a crib, and cots and children in wheelchairs ,from toddlers to early teenagers. There were children with deformed limbs,curled up hands, the thickest eye-glasses you ever saw, many drooling saliva on their bibs and on their clothing, staggering around excitedly, trying to run but never falling down. That’s just how thy ran. Older blind kids who clapped their hands and were able to play like normal kids by echo-locating objects just like dolphins do, we were told and they could even play tag with anyone who wanted to. ONE CHILD WAS ELEVEN WE WERE TOLD AND HAD NEVER STOOD UP IN HER LIFE. She was wriggling and drooling trying to talk excitedly and the nurses kept encouraging her, laughing with her, telling her what was going on while changing the bibs under her head. The nurses could understand her and they seemed to have more fun with her laying in her crib than with the otherchildren. Two or three nurses at a time would be at her crib laughing and crying at the same time. There in front of us was every form of disability and deformity you could imagine. . . . . And I had never had any illness in my life. Not even a cold.
And when “Tex” blew the first note on his Tenor Sax the roar of happy children voices startled us. Tex first, then “Ziggy “ tuning perfect pitch to E-flat. Then playfully exciting the kids; Tex blowing really low notes and the Ziggy making the Alto sax scream. Every soul was jumping up and down, stamping in place those who could were running around, and no one was laughing more than the Nurses, laughing, crying, hugging each other, hugging the kids that ran past them untill the child would break free to run thru the spaces absolutely uninhibited, happy beyond our capability to understand, just so joyful to be alive. Then Our bandleader Manot counted down, “from the coda “ he said.” “loudly! ‘Uh-1,Uh-2 Uh-1234!!” A flourish of trumpets saxophones and trombones blasted out in perfect synchronicity that drowned out the base drum. . . . Sending the place into pandemonium.: The chorus of Glenn Miller‘s hit song, “In the Mood” was followed by (From the top!) and we played and played and played and played, but could not match the children’s enthusiasm. Those moments were their heaven on earth. They wanted to live with all their handicaps and deformities as much as you and I in our health. Their nurses, the orchestra and I . . . . . . We understood!


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