By Emily Cushing
A couple of weeks ago my husband, Travis, and I attended the funeral of our friend’s dad. A very sweet moment occurred just after the first talk.
Travis and I were able to sit by Ben. Ben attended high school with us and he is mentally handicapped. Although not autistic, physically and emotionally, Ben reminds me of "Rain Man". At times he has difficulty speaking clearly and sometimes, no matter how hard you try, he just won’t answer you at all. He can also be a bit aggressive.
Ben is very close to the family of the man's funeral we were attending. This family often invited Ben over to their house and they also took him on family outings with them. They were especially kind to Ben when he lost his mother seven years ago.
While we were waiting for the funeral to begin, Ben kept asking me and Travis to help him find a pen so he could write down our telephone number. Nobody had one, which seemed to agitate Ben.
After the first talk, Ben stood up and walked towards the door. He was motioning and saying very loudly and urgently, “Travis! Come here, Travis! Travis, come here!” Everyone around was staring at Ben, and then Travis, and then back at Ben. Travis looked at me and I shrugged. He then stood up and followed Ben out the door and into the hallway.
After a few moments Travis returned alone. “What did he need—a pen?” I asked. “No,” Travis answered, “he needed a hug.”
Thank you, Travis. For reminding me that sometimes we need to take the time to follow when someone is beckoning for us to come.