Close Encounter with a Gentle Giant
Christmas came and went quickly, as it always seems to do at that time time of year. The
Mannheim Steamroller holiday
concert was just wonderful, and a good time was had by
Sitting next to my friend, Vanessa in the gimp section at the concert
was a young man who looked as though he was in his early
20’s although it was hard to tell his age because he apparently
has giantism which is defined by Webster’s dictionary as:
excessive growth of the body or any of its parts, especially
as a result of over secretion of the growth hormone by the
pituitary gland. It’s also called gigantism. He was so tall, and
his features and limbs were so misshapen that he had to
travel in a wheelchair. He seemed so happy just to be out in
the world; he was clearly enjoying being with a crowd and
looking forward to a very exciting event, as was I.
Several of his family members, here on in to be known as
the Grumpalumps, were there with him, and I was rather
taken aback that not one of them seemed to talk or interact
with him in any way, shape, or form. Vanessa spoke to him
a little; he was hard to understand, but I did hear him say
that it would be a night to be remembered.
He have the largest feet and hands I had ever seen. His head was huge,
and he had a very large, protruding forehead. His teeth were
all askew. Nothing on his body seemed to match any of
the other parts. He was fascinating to look at, but courtesy
dictated that staring was not the thing to do. So I didn’t.
After the concert, we happened to come across him again in
the lobby. He was being pushed by one of the Grumpalumps
in one direction, while Vanessa and I were going the
opposite direction so that we met side by side. We stopped
and agreed that the concert was truly a success, and as we
were saying good-bye, I put out my hand to shake his. He
took my hand, put it to his lips, and kissed it very sweetly
and gently. I said, “Thank you,” tearing up at the gentleness
of this small act by this very large giant.
I heard Vanessa say, “Oooooooh!” She had also been touched
by this moment in time. People were flowing this way and
that all around us. Just then, for those thirty seconds, we
really were being here now. If it were a scene in a movie, all
the people in the background would be blurred and moving
in slow motion, so that only the three of us would be privy
to this small act of loveliness. His pusher decided he had
had enough interaction for one evening and took him away,
seemingly unaware of the magic of that moment and not in
the least caring if he was ready to go or not.
We saw him one more time as we were sitting on the
stone benches that are part of the inside architecture of
the Myerson Theatre. We were waiting for the Handi-ride
bus to pick us up and take Vanessa and I back home He
was with three of the Grumpalumps; there was no smiling,
no talking to each other, no joy amongst them. It was a
sad, sad family, and my poor dear giant was at their mercy.
They seemed to begrudge every step they took with and
for him. This time, he didn’t see us, and we watched as the
Grumpalump dad parked their white van across the street
and all of the Grumpalumps and the tender giant got in.
I was surprised they didn’t just forget about him and leave
him stranded at the Myerson Theatre, either because they
were unaware of his very existence or just so happy to finally
be rid of him. They obviously had no idea how privileged
they were to have him in their lives. I felt privileged to have
been kissed by a truly gentle giant.
You can read more interesting stories of my life lived with MS in my book, Potty Mouth.
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