Jesse the Superhero

I see the journey, the path I have taken like the wake of a great ship.

By far the most frustrating thing I deal with on a daily basis is wanting things. I am not good at asking for things mostly because of what happens when I do. Not being able to drive is killing me. The average person gets up goes to work, comes home and does whatever it is they do; watch television, go to happy hour make dinner or workout. They don’t think about how these things get done. I don’t have the luxury of being able to come home from work, look at my kitchen and then decide I want to go out. I am stuck here so if I get an urge to go get tacos, or a blizzard from dairy queen I cannot hop in my car and go. I can’t drive. Maybe I should that way I can get into an accident and maybe it will all end. I won’t because I would only end up hurting someone else. God is not done punishing me for being born. Sometimes I will post what I want on facebook hoping that one of the six hundred so called friends will say dude I got you. I will help, Instead what I get are crickets chirping and a knowledge that not a single person cares at all about me. I also get a million suggestions. Want banana pudding? Go to such and such place because they have the best , Or they suggest doordash, eat24 or uber delivery because hey I have a money tree, all disabled people do. It is incredibly frustrating knowing that not a single person will do something for me. I go stir crazy wanting out and occasionally someone will say hey what is a good day to take you to lunch or get you out for a drink and they back out or never follow up. That is what is slowly driving me to despondency, just that want to have a single person give a damn about me but I know that will never happen. It hurts though and no matter how indifferent I try to be it hurts when i am ignored or when I am rejected, You would think I would be used to it but I it still hurts. And then I remember…

Jesse was a superhero.

Right after Joe and I reached an understanding and my group became stable two things happened in succession that gave me Jesse. There had been discussion that I would get Jesse because we had an influx of younger boys and I had an open bed. Jesse was eleven but he was a young eleven, small framed and still more interested in small boy things that my four boys. The first thing that happened was I got very sick with the flu that knocked me out of commission for about a week. It would take me another two to start feeling well. I lost some weight and I was always tired. Not long after I came back the second event occurred. Pat was the group leader of the next group down from me.  Pat always acted like everything was on her and that she was the only one who knew anything. She had worked there awhile. It was Pat who played Kenny G every night.  We noticed the changes pretty quickly. She started showing up to work a little more slovenly and it was clear that she was not taking care of herself. Then one day she came in and started acting pretty bizarrely, rambling saying some strange things. It would have been alarming anyway but she was responsible for five boys who were already emotionally disturbed. The supervisor Diane took her to the office and called her family and Pat never came back. We re-structured the units the next day and I got Jesse.

Jesse was a superhero.

One of Jesse’s superpowers was his amazing sweet soul. If you don’t think that is much of a superpower you are wrong.  I was Jesse’s group leader. I knew when he had a bad day, when he could not sleep at night because I received reports. As a group leader I was responsible for everything to do with Jesse including what happened on the weekend.  Jesse was a chatterbox. He trusted everyone and he always greeted me and anyone else with a big hug and a smile and chattering away at you one hundred miles an hour.  The two aides assigned to the evening staff loved him and he was always hugging on them and they him.  Even the rare circumstances where he had to receive some sort of consequence he took it with a smile and was never upset or angry with anyone long. I have seen a lot ad I know that is a rare gift, to have the gentlest and sweetest of souls.

Jesse was a superhero.

All of my kids were athletes and Jesse was no different. Where Jesse was different is that he did not like to participate in big group sports. Jesse was content to play with one or two kids quietly in the dirt doing something. Jesse was incredibly strong though and he had a unique gift that he displayed from time to time. It should have gotten him in trouble but this was Jesse always smiling even when you were correcting him. When walking down the hall Jesse would launch himself, one two three and climb a wall usually in the corner of a room and then hold himself at the ceiling. He did this n front of me and Diane once and we both casually said hop down Jesse. It was an amazing thing to do. He also could run up a wall. I only saw this once and it was over before I could even get to him. Someone threw a Frisbee up on the roof of the building and in a flash Jesse ran up the wall retrieved the Frisbee and hopped down from the roof. He was smiling so big all I could do was tell him not to do that again. Naturally the kids called him spiderman which was appropriate and they were always egging him on to do it but Jesse knew that if he did it all the time we would shut him down and so he did not take advantage of his gift. I admired him so for being able to do it. He would give you that little smile and then bam up the wall.

Jesse was a superhero.

One thing I have learned in this life, is that nothing is ever fair. Some people go through life feeling the hand of God on their shoulder. They know they are blessed beyond measure and others are cursed and nothing we can ever do will alleviate the incredible sin we have committed of being born. I will never understand the evil that one human being can do to another. I will never understand why some of us are so rejected by others. All of the kids at the home where I worked had been abused emotionally and physically. Many were abandoned. Many were placed in foster care only to be abused again.  All of the boys in my group had scars, some physical a lot emotional.  Jesse was my kid who would come out into the hall and sleep by you. He would awake in the middle of the night and sit up in bed and he needed music to play at night, something to soothe the fears that were always with him. I have seen kids used as human ashtrays and I once worked with CPS on a toddler that was hit so hard with a belt buckle that it had to be treated as a burn and for the rest of that child’s life the imprint of that buckle will be visible on the skin.  I have never in my life seen as many scars as Jesse carried. Like most boys after bath and before bed Jesse would walk around without a shirt. His back was scarred with hundred of tiny cigarette burn scars where someone had put out cigarettes on him multiple times. There was no where on his back that was not littered with these scars, hundreds from his shoulders all the way to his butt some one or many some ones had used him in that way. From his feet to the bottom of his calves above his Achilles tendon he was one bug scar from where his mother made him stand in a pot of boiling water. I cannot imagine the pain he suffered and lived through an I often asked if he was hurting. He would smile at you and then hug you. Tell me now having a sweet soul is not a  superpower. I do not know what happened to Jesse but I sure hope that he never lost that sweet soul that ability to smile. I hope he found peace at night when the demons came. I hope he is still climbing walls.

Jesse was a superhero. Jesse was my superhero.



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