To a Fighter, with Love

I was thinking about Bryan last night.

He can’t speak, but he always reaches his hand out.  to his father. to people he seems to recognize. The first time we met, he held onto my hand… then kissed it as the gentlemen do in those beautiful films of our past.

It. is. just. that. simple.
He wants to connect with others, and the human touch is certainly a powerful thing. energy passed. electrical current. the surge. you can almost feel it on your fingertips.

It is engrained in our biology.
It conveys the unsaid.

We want to give love and be loved.
We don’t want to be alone in this world.
Without companionship.
Without a purpose.
Without a dream shared.

Bryan dreamt of becoming a Miami police officer before he was involved in a deadly crash.

In December 2016, a wrong-way driver slammed into the Criales family as they were traveling on I-95 in Downtown Miami. The crash took Bryan’s sister, critically injured his mother, who has since recovered, and threatened to take the young man’s life, but he survived.

He is a fighter.  Fighting for a better tomorrow… fighting to get his strength back. fighting to speak…fighting  to use the right side of his body that remains motionless.

He had not passed all of the tests required to become a sworn officer, but he was working towards it.

Then… tragedy.

A few weeks back, the Miami Police Department made him ‘Chief for a Day.’

I saw his smile. joy.
strength and charm.

The way he was determined to wear his new police baseball cap backwards made me sigh. A young man convinced he knows the ‘way’ like all others do his age.

This was his day.
The high fives.
The embrace.
The respectful head nod.

He counts. He matters. He is loved.

A big thank you to videographer Luis Abad for always capturing the special moments. 

photo courtesy Miami Police Officer Rene Pimentel 

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