Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Start (01/16/06)
TITLE: Rudy's Awakening
By Kym Gordon Moore
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“I can’t!” he shouted in a rebellious tone.
“Yes you can!” his mother cried back.
He gave it another exhausting try, but as he attempted to move, his instability caused him to waver and he quickly grabbed a hold of his walker. “I’m sorry Mom.”
“That’s ok honey. Take your time. You never allowed anything to defeat you before. Nothing!”
Frustration flooded his face. “But it’s different this time Mom. Really different. Why did this happen to me? Huh? Why?”
“Rudy?” His head was bowed down and he wouldn’t look up. “Rudy Rosenberg look at me!” He still didn’t look up. “Rudy, look…enough is enough! No more pity parties ok? Now, I can’t make this happen for you. It’s up to you. Please, look at me son.”
He stared at the floor for a minute, but slowly gazed into his mother’s beautiful brown eyes. Tears were running down his cheeks and she hasn’t seen him cry since he was six years old. She became slightly choked up, but knew that in his best interest she couldn’t loose it. Not now. He would’ve read more into her tears than the sadness of a mother for her child. “I don’t know if I can do it this time Mom.”
“Try baby. That’s all I’m asking you to do is just try.” She bit her lower lip and watched her child, an award winning soccer player, struggle to walk again. She can remember so vividly the day Principal Williams from Bennett High School hysterically called her to come to the school quickly. While Rudy and some fellow teammates waited at the entrance for the bus to pick them up, a three time convicted drunk driver lost control of his car and before anyone could jump out of the way, the car plunged into the small crowd pinning Rudy under the car. Several of his teammates sustained minor injuries, but Rudy received the worst. At first they thought he was going to die after three weeks in a coma. He was in a full body cast and his injuries were life threatening. Everyone prayed for him to pull through for a full recovery, including the drunk driver who walked away with no injuries. The man who was driving impaired apologized for what he did to Rudy. “The nerve of that man, saying he’s sorry and is praying for Rudy. His recklessness nearly killed my son!” she thought. This was a very difficult thing for Mrs. Rosenberg. Rudy is an honor roll student and a good, mannerable boy. She was furious at the driver and wanted to strangle him with her bare hands, but knew that wouldn’t help her son recover any quicker. “You can do this baby. I know you can.”
Being a star athlete, Rudy’s paralysis was the worst thing he ever had to face. His mother’s words of encouragement resonated in his ears like a church chime. Taking a deep breath, he braced himself on his walker and concentrated on making his legs move. After a minute passed, his mother saw movement in his left leg. Slowly Rudy dragged his leg forward, then stopped to take a deep breath.
“Oh my God,” his mother whispered. She watched as her son struggled to move his right leg and did it successfully. She couldn’t hold back her tears any longer. She got up from the sofa and embraced him like she was squeezing a life sized teddy bear.
“Yes son?” she sobbed.
“You’re squeezing me too tight,” he noted in a calm voice. “Why are you crying?”
“Because baby, now I know you are really going to be all right.”
“Did you doubt me?” he said boldly.
“No sweetheart. Never!” She hugged and kissed her son again, then helped him to sit down in his wheelchair. “Rudy, I’m so proud you.”
“Thanks Mom. I realize this has been hard on you too. You know, I hate what happened to me, but it gave me a lot of time to think. So here’s the deal: I’m giving myself another year to be prepared and trained to play soccer again!” Rudy declared this with great enthusiasm. “Can’t keep ‘the star’ of the team down, now can you?”
“See, that’s the old Rudy I’m talking about!”
“Yeah, I have to agree with you on that one. But this time…this time, I’m coming back bigger, badder and better than ever! That’s a promise!”
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