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This will Tug at your Heart Strings! Well, for most people?

(25 Posts)
Nytsom Sat 08-Nov-14 15:12:47

Think harder about choices...
Two Choices

What would you do? make the choice. Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one. Read it anyway.. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.

Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.

Where is the natural order of things in my son?'

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.'

Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.

Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the
Plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed...

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher..

The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.

Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game..

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!

Run to first!'

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.

He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.

B y the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball . The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third!

Shay, run to third!'

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team

'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.

Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!


Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.

We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the 'natural order of things.'

So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:

Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?

A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.

May your day, be a Shay Day.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 08-Nov-14 15:18:29

I'm saying nothing.

Kiora Sat 08-Nov-14 15:30:27

That's not like you jinglebellsfrocks wink

Teetime Sat 08-Nov-14 15:34:43

me either.

Agus Sat 08-Nov-14 15:48:49


alex57currie Sat 08-Nov-14 15:53:31

Covered in goosebumps, but otherwise speechless & elated.

henetha Sat 08-Nov-14 16:04:51

mmmmm....... mulling it over..... no further comment.

annodomini Sat 08-Nov-14 16:59:31

I'd say that my heartstrings are intact.

Greenfinch Sat 08-Nov-14 17:05:16

I remember seeing this posted on Facebook about a year ago and wondering how true it was. It would be nice to feel that children would react in this way but I have my doubts. It is a mature response to a sensitive situation that most children would not appreciate. I know that my autistic grandson is not included in sporting activities though he would dearly love to be and often asks. Is this just another piece of sentimental prose so common on Facebook? I would like to think not.

Ana Sat 08-Nov-14 17:40:56

If you google 'At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities...' you'll see this story has been doing the rounds since at least 2007. Sometimes the name of the child is changed.

Nelliemoser Sat 08-Nov-14 18:02:23

I am with the hmm group too. A good allegorical tale no doubt but heartstrings un-stretched here as I doubt if it is a true story but an allegory, or a parable.

JC was very good at parables as a teacher of morality as everyone enjoys a story.

I think the word for that is allegory, or was it a parable?
Help me out here please pedants what is the difference?

POGS Sat 08-Nov-14 19:02:22

To be fair I hadn't heard the story and I don't think it unreasonable to assume neither had the OP.

It is a nice story (sorry to use the word nice to those who dislike the word) and if it is a true story then I am glad I read the OP.

It reminded me of the BBC 2 drama some of us enjoyed called 'Marvellous', the football match where the two teams 'looked after' Neil the club mascot.

TriciaF Sat 08-Nov-14 19:16:51

After I retired I had a part time job accompanying a girl with Downs syndrome to sessions in a school for "normal" children. She was older than them, and very disabled, no speech etc. They used to ask how old she was and why she couldn't do this that and the other, but without exception were kind to her, and tried to get her to join in.
I think that if children have the opportunity when they're young to accept disability it should stay with them. It brings out a side of their nature which otherwise could lie dormant.

durhamjen Sat 08-Nov-14 20:10:00

My autistic grandson is in a football team and most of the other members are people who would not get chosen for a school team. The boys are all ones who want to play together.
They have been together for three years, and there is no favouritism. They all play for the same length of time each match, and they all encourage each other. They also all play in every position except goalie.

I had tears in my eyes when I read the story. I do believe it unless told otherwise, because I see it happen in sport.

The problem in my grandson's team is often the other parents. However, all they have to be reminded of is what they signed up to, and they stop complaining that their sons are not being given enough time on the pitch.

rosesarered Sat 08-Nov-14 21:56:11

Sadly, my autistic DGS will very likely never play any team sport. However, I think that young children [primary age] are usually kinder than the older ones.This may well be an urban myth story however.

Eloethan Sat 08-Nov-14 22:36:18

It looks to me like one of those chain e-mails where recipients are asked to pass it on to their friends. I don't like them.

Ana Sat 08-Nov-14 22:40:24

Of course it is. As I said before, it's been going the rounds on social media websites for years.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 08-Nov-14 22:53:44

Seems very hard on the disabled boy if he was only put into the world to give the rest of us a chance to show goodness, which is what his father seemed to think. That's just not fair.

Nytsom Sat 08-Nov-14 22:54:05

Posted the story, because when I read it for the first time, it put an emotional lump in my throat. My wife had tears in her eyes as she read it.

As stated, a tug at the heart strings for some; especially those of us who feel deeply about the lives of others.

I thought you'd need a heart of Stone not to be moved by the story, true or false; fact or fiction. The actual story moved me ..

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 08-Nov-14 22:58:48

Nytsom It would be lovely if children really behaved like that. Perhaps they do. Perhaps it is true.

Penstemmon Sat 08-Nov-14 23:35:06

I worked at a mainstream primary school that shared a site for children with autism. The children did share some times together and both sets of children gained form the experience. One day when my kids were in assembly a girl from the special school burst into the hall, twirling and stark naked. Not one child laughed. One got up and said to me 'Ok if I take her back?' He took her by the hand and led her back through the doors to her school. Kids can be very empathetic if they are given opportunity.

durhamjen Sun 09-Nov-14 00:11:27

That's a lovely story, Penstemmon, and I think similar would have happened at two of the three primary schools my grandson went to. Roses, it's not a myth that primary school pupils are kinder. I teach my 12 year old grandson at home because his parents could not stomach the idea of him being like a frightened rabbit every day until he was 18, running away from teachers who wanted to talk to him because he was too afraid of being late for the next lesson.
Secondary schools are too big for many kids to cope with.
My grandson is in a football team because the managers know the kids and train them according to the proper rules, small games and lots of praise. They play in a league, and regularly lose, but they know how well they have done every match and what they need to do to improve. Some of the kids were in the school teams but spent most matches sitting on the bench as subs. They joined our team because they knew they would play, along with the others who would never have even been subs for the school teams.
What you need is somebody keen enough to take the FA coaching course, and turn up every week to train and encourage, not the average shouty parent.

henetha Sun 09-Nov-14 10:31:35

It's not the sentiments expressed in the piece, it's the way it's written.
We would all hope that boys (and girls) like Shay would be treated like that, but the writing is over-sentimental for my taste.
I used to get a lot of ' forwards' from America, and while agreeing with the contents and feeling sympathy, the emotive language was often too much for my Englishness.
I'm not sure I have put that very well, but hope you know what I mean.

durhamjen Sun 09-Nov-14 10:41:16

i like the "May your day be a Shay day " sentiment.

When taking my granddaughter to school, with her brother walking alongside, he often pretends to be Spiderman or Ratty, or anyone else he can do the actions for. Quite often she and I ask him just to be ..., in other words himself.
One day last week she said, " But he wouldn't be ... without being Ratty or Spiderman." That's so true, but it does get a bit wearing.
Living in a village is probably a good idea. We go to get a newspaper after leaving her at the school, and he quite often strikes up a conversation with the shopkeeper. If there's a queue, I want to hurry him a bit, but everybody likes listening to him, and often others join in. It makes him feel like a normal human being, although he insists on telling everyone that he's at homeschool just in case they feel like calling the police if they think he is breaking the law.

Elegran Sun 09-Nov-14 11:05:36

I am with you, Henetha The sentiment is fine - of course it is - it is the sentimentality that wraps it that puts me off. You can't taste the pancake for the corn syrup.