This I Believe

Joyce - Scio, Oregon
Entered on July 17, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: children, family
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Caleb and Fast Runner

I believe we all need Supermen at times. At four, my grandson Caleb had an imaginary superman named Fast Runner. Fast Runner went everywhere with Caleb; he could leap over buildings, pick up mountains, and, of course, run faster than lightening. Only Caleb could keep up with him.

The grandkids have always moved freely from their home to ours. One evening as Caleb and I were driving to my place, I looked to the west and was amazed by the glorious Oregon sunset, all vibrant oranges, reds, and pinks.

“Look at the beautiful sunset, Caleb. Aren’t the colors wonderful? I love those colors.”

“Me and Fast Runner made that sunset for you, Grandma. When we get to your house, me and him are going to paint all those colors on a rock so you can always see them.”

“Thanks, both of you.”

All year I listened to the exploits and derring-do of Caleb and Fast Runner.

Then one day while he was staying with me, I asked how Fast Runner was doing. Caleb just lowered his head and looked away. Finally he muttered, “He’s gone.” Nothing more.

Rather alarmed by Fast Runner’s disappearance, I called my daughter. “Caleb said Fast Runner’s gone. What happened?”

“Oh,” said Tasha quietly. “Caleb sent him to Iraq with Mark. Fast Runner’s gone to protect Caleb’s daddy in the war.”

Just before the tears started, my instantaneous thought was, “Oh, good grief! Now I have two of them over there to worry about!”

Mark came home after a year, but Fast Runner never returned. I like to think he is still over in Iraq, doing what all supermen do: keeping the world as safe as he can. I believe we all need a superman now and then.