A word about Floyd

My daughter and I went to Liberty Park this morning before the crowds arrived and the weather turned bad. We were sitting on the tire swing together when I spotted a man limping across the grass. At first glance he seemed completely average, aside from his limp. As he slowly approached I could see a small child in his arms. How sweet, I thought, he's bringing his baby to the park. When he was about 10 feet away, I realized his baby was actually a baby doll and that he wasn't simply average, but mentally handicapped in some way.

My daughter noticed it too and said, "why is that man carrying a doll?" I replied to her, "he must really like that doll a lot so he is bringing it to the park."

He passed us without a word and we watched him walk to the "baby" swings where he gently placed his baby, put down his bag and proceeded to push it. He pushed the swing for a moment before he stopped, readjusted his baby and continued pushing the swing for about 5 more minutes. How sad, I thought. Not only did I think it but those words came out of my mouth. My daughter, who is seven replied, "I see what you mean."

My heart was so heavy watching him push that doll as if it were a living child. What must he go through each day? What struggles does he have? Does he have someone to care for him as gently as he is caring for that doll? And then I wondered if I even had the right feeling that way. Perhaps he is perfectly happy with himself. Does he even know that he is different? He seemed happy pushing the doll in the swing.

Is it okay to feel sympathy toward someone who doesn't even realize that he deserves the sympathy of others?

1 comment:

  1. I don't find it sad at all. We all have the things in our life that mean a lot to us and he really enjoyed the sunshine and taking his baby out for a swing in the park. Sometimes I wonder if we wouldn't all be better off with a more simplistic mindset. Where the things that mattered to us really mattered and the trivial things just washed away.