#ericstree

ERICS TREE

I pass it every time Ava has a home volleyball game 

and It makes me wonder about fate..

It’s a tree…growing outside my old classroom…planted in 1988.

 

It was for one of my Autistic students that this one tree came to be…

A wonderful student, his name was Eric…he had muscular dystrophy.

 

When Eric first entered my class…he walked on his tip toes…with great care.

Eventually his muscular dystrophy would put him in a wheel chair.

 

But he also entered with a reputation…I was told…all he did was cry…

and it drove everyone around him crazy because they couldn’t discover why?

 

I was told he could say a few words but as far as learning he was much too slow

I would come to find out it wasn’t Eric but our expectations that were low..

 

One day on a trip to the store…

(I’d strap him in the passenger seat of my van before we would depart)

I hadn’t driven very far when I heard him say…”K-Mart”.

 

As I drove and listened that day my thinking about Eric redefined…

He wasn’t just sayin random words…he was reading all the signs!

 

That day I learned if I listen to my students…sometimes they will lead…

for next to me sat the boy so slow…he had taught himself to read!

 

He couldn’t hold a pencil but he could write…in my heart and soul I knew it

so I found an old electric typewriter and wheeled Eric to it.

 

He commenced to typing us little messages…

and though his sentence structure was chopped

he began to smile a little more and we noticed his crying completely stopped.

 

Okay…it didn’t stop completely…but he didn’t cry as much

as his fingers walked along the keyboard and he found the letters he wanted to touch.

 

It was a minor breakthrough 

he was still limited by his understanding and his muscular dystrophy…

but just so watch him smile as he typed…was good enough for me…

 

Muscular dystrophy, however, was immune to Eric’s charms…

and one night on summer vacation…he died in his mothers arms…

 

The staff and students of the school in order to commemorate his memory…

outside the last classroom he ever attended…planted him this tree.

 

And that’s why I think of fate every time I pass in front of Eric’s tree…

Thankful not only for what I saw in him…

 

but for what he saw in me.


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