Kalishia's Wings is a short story about Kalishia's journey as she became paralyzed and how she learns to overcome it and accept a new way of life. Enjoy the adventure as Kalishia and her family face loss, grief, and search for hope!
"Kalishia! Wake up!" my sister Allison yelled.
"It's Saturday..." Kalishia moaned with my eyes still shut and droopy with sleep.
"You really are delirious honey." Mom soothed.
Delirious? Kalishia thought. That's an odd way of describing my morning defiance.
"It's gonna be okay, we're all here with you." Dad said with a hint of uncertainty in his voice.
Kalishia's head ached & throbbed. Her thoughts felt foggy. Startled, she realized that she had no idea where she was. Kalishia's heart threatened to jump from her chest. She tried to wake up. She willed herself to re-enter her reality from the dream world. Finaly, after a long struggle, Kalishia opened her heavy eyes.
"I'm in the hospital!" She exclaimed.
"You where hit by a car." The nurse chuckled.
"This isn't funny!" Kalishia huffed.
"You've been paralyzed." The doctor stated.
The moment the doctor told this to Kalishia, her heart sank. She had loved being on her school track team. It was everything to her. Track was her safe haven where she actually fit in somewhere for once. How could she be a member of the track team now if she couldn't even walk?
"Dad, am I gonna get kicked off the track team?" Kalishia asked.
He turned toward Kalishia with a glum expression. "I don't know, Kalishia. This will change everything about our way of life, but it isn't hopeless."
"It feels hopeless to me." Kalishia replied, her voice crackling.
"Honey, it's going to be alright." Mom said as she grasped my hand and the tears ran down my face.
"How can you say it's going to be alright when I will never walk again?" Kalishia huffed angrily.
"We're going to find a new normal." Mom said softly.
"Normal is the life I will never have again, Mom" Kalishia sobbed.
"I think it's best if we give her some time alone, Marsha." Dad said as he turned to leave the room.
"Let's go get something to eat in the cafeteria, Marvin." Marsha stated as the family regrouped in the hall.
"I don't want to eat." Josh commented.
Kalishia's brother Josh never wanted to eat when he was feeling sad. It was just his odd way of manifesting his stress.
"You need to eat, Josh. We all do." Marvin replied.
"Fine, have it your way." Josh grumbled.
"You're always grumpy like this." Alison stated to Josh.
The family sat down at a booth with their food in the far corner of the hospital cafeteria.
"What are we going to do about Kalishia needing wheel chair access to the house?" Marvin asked Marsha.
"Maybe we should contact some of our neighbors to see if they can help us build a ramp?" Marsha suggested.
"Yeah, it's just that I hate to make us the needy project family, Marsha." Marvin replied around a bite of his pasta.
"Sometimes, we have to learn to accept help, Marvin." Marsha commented.
"What if Kalishia doesn't want the help?" Josh asked, piping into the conversation.
"Kalishia is going through a lot right now, Josh. She doesn't fully accept that this will be her new way of life." Marsha answered.
"Maybe a wheel chair isn't the right solution for Kalishia." Marvin suggested.
Marvin didn't sleep well that night as Kalishia stayed in the hospital. He kept thinking that there had to be another way to help Kalishia get her life back. Then, out of nowhere, he had a crazy idea. He would build Kalishia a pair of wings. He would give her the gift of flight.
But how? How would he give his daughter such a miraculous gift?
Marvin had studied engineering for years but he had never attempted a project quite like this one. He would need to test the device for himself before it could ever be used by Kalishia. His problem was, Kalishia didn't have time to wait. She needed freedom from the oppression, and she needed it quick before it's too late.
After tossing and turning, Marvin finally stumbled his way out to the work bench in the garage around two in the morning. He started to doodle down some ideas and built a prototype with some odds and ends on his shelves. Marvin managed to create a working folding mechanism in his wooden dowel and plastic trash bag model. However, he still wondered how well his design would handle the counter wait of a miniature person.
He needed a weight to represent the scale of his own body weight. According to his calculation, the wings would need to carry around 10 times their own weight. Marvin took a look at his messy shelf again and pulled out a block of balsa wood. it was light and easy to work with. Marvin thought it would be good to carve a figure with it and then he'd attach some nuts and bolts inside for weight.
He ended up creating a miniature flying person that was remote controlled by the time Marsha found him asleep at the work bench the next morning.
"Marvin?" She asked as she gently shook him awake.
"Yes" he replied groggily.
"You built that?" Marsha gasped with amazement as she picked up Marvin's prototype.
"Yeah, couldn't sleep last night." Marvin apologized.
"This is genius!" Marsha marveled. "Does it work?"
"I think so, I was hoping to come up with something to help Kalishia." Marvin smiled.
"How will she land and take off though?" Marsha asked.
"Good point, I guess I didn't think about that." Marvin sighed.
"That's okay, I think we should show her what you have, it's incredible!" Marsha smiled.
"I guess it is a small ray of hope for now." Marvin replied.
To be continued in the next blog post :)