To The Man Inside

My dear Terrae,

I was there when The Man Inside was born 35 years ago,
In a body poorly equipped to handle it, premature by four months.
Too young to be born, but bravely hanging on to life,
Lungs collapsing, barely breathing
I was so worried that I baptized you on the spot.

TERRAE was the name your mother gave you then,
After hours of work appropriately called labor
With my help, and singing “Hickory Dickory Dock.”
When back labor hit again, yelling “Get dad in here.”
We worked together, Me, your mom, and The Man Inside.

I’m sure that you, The Man Inside, had little want to suffer
This tiny body, struggling to live, needing life support tubes.
I’m sure that you, The Man Inside, as you awoke to find yourself a
Prisoner inside,
Became pissed.

We who love you had no idea how angry you felt, but we knew
How dedicated your mother was to provide comfort and support.
She knew you were inside and she could tell us what your mouth couldn’t say.
She was angry too. At who? Who would let this happen to her son?
And so came about a partnership between The Man Inside and your mother.
This partnership, worked to make this tangled body work.
You on the inside, she on the outside, until
The rest of the world recognized what a wonderful, beautiful man
Was imprisoned in there. We found out you were communicating:
Thoughts, descriptions, desires and opinions and humor.

And then you got your POWER chair and lookout Darrell!
No longer did your withered legs prevent you from mobility.
You could MOVE.

You have the strength and agility of a Menlo Oak, like Darrell.
You have the humor and heart, like Brandon
You have the stubbornness and beauty of Khaleela
and the wisdom, strength and courage of George and Cory, your parents

You may not know that you did not get these gifts from them.
They got these gifts from you, The Man Inside.

So many things have happened with you in our lives. Things you have done.
The love you share with us, your family and friends

We know The Man Inside. We love him and he loves us.
We too are angry with the body you inhabit.
But neither of us has let it get in our way,

“We shall overcome.”

love, Grandpa



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