Based on a true story

Jennifer, Angus and Owen are waiting at a stoplight, on their way to ‘the big corner’ – the bustling retail intersection close to their house.  Angus walks beside Owen’s wheelchair, occasionally and absent-mindedly patting him on the head.  Angus holds onto the side of the wheelchair, lightly skipping over cracks. Light turns red as trio approaches intersection.


Repeatedly pushes ‘walk’ button.


Pauses, surveys traffic.

How old is Owen going to be?


At first distracted then senses she should pay attention.

Yes? Pardon? What’s that?


How old will Owen be when he’s, you know, really old?


Looks at Angus a while, talks slowly to buy time.  Knows the answer.

Are you asking me ‘how long is Owen going to live’?


Yes. Like will it be old for Owen to be, you know… 40s? ….50s?



Turns to face Angus. Calm on the surface but quietly panicking.

Honey, I think it would be really something if Owen lives all the way to his 40s or 50s.


Surveys traffic again.

Yeah, I thought so.

Light turns green. Trio proceeds to ‘the big corner’.  Angus continues to skip and doesn’t give any of it another thought.



  1. Wow. Is it the grand acceptance of a child’s open mind, or is it just that Angus can’t imagine what 40 feels like (and how quickly he will get there). Either way, it’s nice that he took the answer in stride.

  2. Thanks for sharing that. It’s great that Angus has the comfort/freedom in your relationship to ask you those questions.

    I’ve had somewhat similar conversations with Ben’s siblings about going to university, driving, etc.

    I loved the birthday cake!

  3. Brings tears to my eyes…..actually last night I cried myself to sleep thinking what and when Jacob’s time may come. What would I say to those people who are thinking or telling me ” that its better this way” “that he is out of his misery” or that “I must be so relieved” …..needless to say that my 11 1/2 yr old son Jacob who has Dystonia, Quad C.P, Deaf, lung disease has had a trying life but there is more to it then that. Those eyes that look at you and say the unspoken words “I love you mom, and thanks” this is what keeps me going.

    Lots of love to you Jen and Owen and Angus!

    Love Connie and bubby 2 Jacob

  4. Love you too Connie! Let’s have a visit very soon – before the snow. Would love to see all the munchkins :) And you and the big guy too of course!

  5. so powerful. i love the way you shared this little snippet of your life…a few seconds of your day that had the weight of the world on it… enough to break a heart…

  6. Beautiful shot, wise, wise boy.
    I wish this was was not the reality for any of you.

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