Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief
by Maija Threlkeld
Rich Man, Poor Man
Rich Man, Poor Man,
Beggar Man, Thief,
When my oldest brother was born in 1961 within his trousseau of baby garments was a little white linen shirt with red piping that has “doctor, lawyer, Indian chief” embroidered on the bodice. What was assumed, of course, was that his future opportunities were abundant. This golden haired, bright, blue-eyed babe had the world as his oyster.
Grandparents fawned over him, their first grandchild. A grandson! A faded photo captures a frail, but over the moon, silver-bunned great-grandmother giving his sweet-smelling head a tender stroke while his beaming mother stands in the background.
Life was full of promise.
But then Life’s path diverted and a diagnosis of schizophrenia at mere fourteen years of age claimed all promise.
The path stopped.
I wrap my three young children in thick, terry-cloth towels after their bath and nuzzle in the warm smell of their soft skin.
Their laughs send me on a flight of joy.
Their insights into the world around and outer space leave me humbled by curiosity and intuitiveness unhinged by assumption, presumption or doubt.
The world is their oyster. Heavens await. “I want to grow up to be … ” is met with an assured, “Sounds good!”
Any opportunity may be granted.
And yet, I think to that now creamed-colored linen shirt tucked away that lay such promise.
Given Life’s twists and turns it’s naive to expect that my children’s unencumbered, free-flowing glorious dreams will need only aspiration to be attained.
But that is my hope—and my blessing—may it be granted.