Birds are passing overhead. They are like stars in motion, music in the sky. As always, they remind me of Nikki.(READ MORE)
Nikki was a friend of mine, and very dear to my heart. She had cerebral palsy, and to all the world she looked like one of God’s cruel jokes. She could not walk unaided. Her legs were useless sticks; her arms, helpless bird wings. When she talked her head lolled and spittle dripped down her chin. Her voice was a grating and unintelligible bray.
More than once I saw parents in supermarkets turn their children away when they saw her coming. She was a reminder of their darkest fears about life gone terribly and irretrievably wrong.
I used to love to talk to Nikki — not out of some twisted motive of self-congratulation, or because she was a dark mirror of my own good fortune, but because she was so full of life. She had a mischievous twinkle in her eye and a reservoir of joy that was deeper than anything I could imagine.