As I sit here watching the downpour of rain, I remember my childhood. I was a mere age of 4 and I loved to go out and play in the rain. The memory of jumping in those big puddles still brings a smile to my face. It was so exciting.
My mother would scold me for not wearing my rainboots. She would literally tug at me to get back in the house. I never listened. Actually I never cared! I was free and full of life.
The raindrops were very cold yet never cold enough for me because I was so warm inside. I can still envision the wind pushing the tree branches to and fro. I was like one of those branches. No wind could ever knock me down. I was strong. I was fearless. While people cursed because their umbrellas broke, I never wanted to use one. I loved the rain.
I especially enjoyed walking inside the house making squeaky noises with my wet sneakers. It irked my dad to no end but I didn’t care. There was something about the rain that I loved so much. I felt sad when the rain stopped and the water evaporated. The sun would come out and my only reminder of the rain was that feeling of moisture on my feet. Would it rain again tomorrow? Perhaps it would.
Funny how at age 4 raindrops were on my face and I laughed with merriment. Now I sit here at age 32 and watch the rain hit against the glass window. Tear drops are falling upon my face as I recall those days. How I wish I could jump in a puddle right now!
How I long to walk around in my squeaky sneakers like I did at age 4, age 5 age 6 and even as a teenager. I can’t anymore though. I can’t! I was so carefree as a child but at age 16 I no longer wanted to wet my sneakers. They were too expensive you see. I still didn’t care much for rainboots.
I remember my mother yelling for me to stay home that evening. A severe thunderstorm was approaching. “Don’t go!” I could hear her cry out. I refused to listen and I stormed out with my umbrella and the car keys. I was meeting my friends to hang out and the rain was not going to stop me. The downpour was never ending. I jumped in my dad’s car, tossed the umbrella on the side, turned the ignition on and started to drive. I drove past that old tree with its branches so strong and one of them came to meet me personally.
I recall the blur before me. It happened so fast. I was scared. The rain was different. It wasn’t the one I loved. My tears and the very cold raindrops made me lose my vision and here I am. I am a man bound to a metal wheelchair with ulcers on my back and my buttocks anesthetized from the neck down. If only I could go outside and play. If only I could jump in a puddle once again! If only I had avoided that rain.
This was a little story told to me by one of my patients who was admitted for infected ulcers. He suffered from depression as well. The patient and his parents had become estranged after the incident but with psychotherapy they were all able to heal. Sadly he developed sepsis and died at age 35.
Stay safe, my friends
Hugs from Brooklyn