It's funny how God brings people into your life. This is especially true about the little boy I met the other day. For some reason I cannot get him out of my mind, no matter how hard I try.
I met little Branigan Shane Michaels at a baseball game. He was with his family. He was only six years old (but looked younger) and had the sweetest, widest smile I had ever seen. Hie eyes were a beautiful shade or turquoise and his hair was as red as red could be.
He was beautiful.
He was also in a wheelchair.
It was soon obvious to me that the little guy would probably never walk. He had cerebral palsy; his type affected his entire body. It made me sad that this precious little boy would probably never run or walk on his own, but it was obvious to me just how much his family loved him.
Branigan was the youngest child of Tiffanie, his mom, and Al, his dad. In addition to Branigan, the couple had two other children, both girls, ages eight and thirteen. Their names were Willow Elizabeth (the eight year old) and Snow Ashtyn (the thirteen year old). The girls were adopted; they were from China, but they belonged to this happy couple as much as did Branigan, who was their first "homegrown" child. Tiffanie and Al cherished all of their children very much.
I don't know what led to the circumstances of Branigan's disabilities, but the thought of their youngest child being born damaged for life truly saddened me. It probably bothered them too (probably still does), but they were determined to give Branigan a very good and fulfilling life.
Maybe it was his name that made me think of him: I had never heard of it, but it somehow seemed to suit this little guy perfectly. I do know one thing: I would probably never forget it; it was rather unusual. Branigan Michaels was the first Branigan I'd ever met! The same applied to Snow and Willow. Very unusual names as well, but both very pretty ones, too.
People often stared at the little boy sitting there in his dark-blue wheelchair ... that or pointed or whispered among themselves ..., but I looked at the child because I couldn't help noticing his fire-engine red hair or the huge grin that went from ear to ear as his family talked to him and lavished hugs and kisses upon the child.
I knew I wanted to stop by and say hi, so this was why I'd gone up to the couple and their children and started making small talk.
I hope I see Al, Tiffanie, and their children again soon. They all eemed to be very nice, and I loved the way how they included their little boy in everything. They weren't ashamed of him or his disabilities: they wanted him to be a part of the world, and it was obvious that they cared very deeply for all of their children.
It gave me a sense of hope. Oh, if more families cared as much as Al and Tiffanie did; the world would then be a much better place!