Close Encounter with a Gentle Giant

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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One Response to Close Encounter with a Gentle Giant

  1. mavismarie says:

    What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing and I would love to meet uyour giant!

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