THE CASTLE

THE CASTLE
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

He takes my hand,
Leads me to the red wagon,
And sits inside expectantly.
Smiling and waiting in a convincing two year old way, my grandson Owen asserts his desires in a beautiful and forthright way, and I will not deny him.
I grab the wagon handle yet again, we laugh together, and set out;
Pioneers on a pilgrimage to ...
Somewhere special.
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We head east and he's allowed his first glimpse of the majestic Sanford Children's hospital in Sioux Falls, a towering virtual castle with colorful flags waving from the peak; a building magnificently employed with every form of a child's imagination at work.
Owen is captivated.
He studies it and is magnetized by it.
The closer we get the more entranced his gaze.
He's absolutley taken with it.
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A commemorative massive statue of Denny Sanford with a family unit sits not far from the entrance and waters bubbling from knee high fountains lie half-mooned around it.
It's an impressive and provoking sight to even an adult.
Naturally, Owen wants out of the wagon, and is lifted out and let go.
Overwhelmed by the stimuli, he chooses the water founts as his "first" explore, and with his bright green crocks, works to step on and stifle the water source.
We explore things together, my shoes come off, and we enjoy the water.
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It's at just such a moment that something "broken" happens:
A young couple in their mid-twenties ventures near us;
They bear the look of exhausted parents passing through some hellish, tormenting, unending nightmare.
I can't take my eyes off of them;
They can't take their eyes off of Owen.
He's laughing,
Squealing,
And exclaiming at the waters "unstoppable" charge over him.
Just like that,
The internal emotional dam of a mother breaks,
And the young mom weeps,
And the dad does too.
The bubbling waters that Owen is working on stifling, are streaming down the faces of  broken parents, and there's not enough tears in all the world to hold what they are feeling and what they are going through.
They walk away and keep looking back simultaneously;
Beautiful healthy Owen.
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The day is beautiful,
The wagon ride provoking.
Owen's little hand fits into mine and I touch gentle the place on my cheek where his lips softly kissed me.
This beautiful life,
This beautiful child,
This "castle of glory" composed of a child,
This child named Owen.
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