After running a few errands in downtown Fort Wayne yesterday afternoon, I decided to grab some food and go have lunch at Lakeside Park. It’s one of my favorite parks in the city, with a big lake in the center, rose gardens, etc… Awesome place. So, I drove to Lakeside, parked the car in a spot right in front of the lake, turned the engine off, and proceeded to eat my lunch. The flocks of ducks and geese in the park provided great meal time entertainment.
As I was finishing my lunch, I noticed a mini-van pull into a parking spot behind me. A lady emerged from the van, and went around to the passenger side to removed a young girl in a wheel chair from the van. They headed off towards the playground, and I turned back to watching the ducks and geese in the lake. That is, until the birds started waddling off towards the lady and the girl. As it turns out, they had a loaf of bread, and were there to feed the ducks.
It was pretty cool watching the birds gather around the girl as she tossed out bits and pieces of bread for them. She was having a great time, and got really excited when the babies started getting closer. Every now and then I’d hear a loud WEEEeeeeeee! from the girl, as she threw another handful of bread out to the ducks and geese. It was really precious and beautiful, and just tugged at my heart.
Here was this young girl living with what I believe to be cerebral palsy, and, for the briefest of moments, she was experiencing sheer happiness through the simple act of feeding those ducks and geese. And her mother, for that brief moment, got to see her daughter completely happy. Having grown up with a family friend having cerebral palsy, I know how rough that can be on the entire family, and that those moments can be hard to come by. I was excited for the mother and her daughter, and so glad that they had that time together. And felt fortunate to have seen it. It did get me thinking though, and that’s when the tears started welling up.
If that young girl can hold her physical ailments at bay with such simple pleasures, why can’t I?