This isn't what I intended to post today, but I'd like to share anyway - a moment of appreciation for Umbrellas, Pixar's new animated short.
This past weekend my Uncle D and Aunt J came to Ohio. Uncle D has a severe brain injury from a car crash several years ago. This was my first time seeing him since the accident. It was hard, watching this lively, funny, active man in a wheelchair and on oxygen. Very hard. He could talk, but usually only spoke when asked a direct question. Even then, the answers came out slow and short. Most of the time he sat and watched, in the world but not really part of it. It was hard to tell how much we could really share with him.
During an ebb in activity, my Aunt J (D's wife) invited us to the movies, saying Uncle D enjoyed going. We picked Monsters University, and true to Pixar tradition, an animated short played with it - The Blue Umbrella. Quick, lovely, Blue Umbrella.
At the end of this short, Uncle D clapped.
My uncle is not going to suddenly get better. There's no miracle cure, just a slow building day by day. I don't get to see him very much at all, and don't feel like I can be of much help. But just for a second, I got to see him truly enjoy something, react, share the same story.
It's hard to tell what will touch us, or anybody else. Most days we just trudge on, one step, two. Once in a while, though, something strikes. Something breaks through. Maybe we are inspired to great things. Or maybe just to smile. Maybe just to clap. In just that one instant, everything looks different. A little bit better.
Those moments are worth it.
The Blue Umbrella gif source: http://karensheilagillan.tumblr.com/post/53640345731