Give back every day even on vacation
7 Easy Ways to Give Every Day on Vacation – Take Two
August 27, 2018
World Charity Day online gives from 365give
Celebrate World Charity Day With These $5 Gives
September 3, 2018
Show all

The Ungiven Gift – 365give Member Story

Share Happiness!

He was pencil thin and walked with a limp. A thirteen year-old boy with huge yearning eyes who was always an unlucky patient on the children’s floor of the hospital where my youngest daughter was all too often incarcerated. Curtis had sickle cell anemia, an incurable, painful, and terminal disease that plagues young people of African descent.

I would meander into his room to spend a little time with the rebellious loner and would often end up refereeing a screaming match between him and one of the nurses. The street-wise Curtis would usually win.

Over the course of a few years (the hospital was always my home-away-from-home), I eventually learned of the horror of his upbringing, the sad reality of his current life and the apparent dimness of his future.

My experience as a volunteer in the Big Brother-like program in our local Children’s Aid Society was that a small dose of interest and some one-on-one attention could go a long way to helping a kid who was in trouble with the law, failing school, and in Curtis’ case, a social outcast.

So, when my time was over with the last boy I was involved with, I asked the CAS if I could hook up with Curtis, albeit ‘unofficially’ this time. Problem was, I was in the process of selling my drycleaning business while building a music production studio (for my next career) and my time was too much at a premium to commit to a structured arrangement. They agreed, and I began to hang with Curtis.

I learned in very short order that among his survival skills was the tendency to cajole, cleverly manipulate, and even outright steal.
Although with kindness always in my heart, I had to have a second set of eyes when in his presence and was forced at times to be, well, curt with Curt.

Also during this time, I was involved in a major lawsuit after having had a song of mine “lifted” by a one-time friend and co-writing partner in Los Angeles, who had become a ‘hot’ producer of major recording acts. On one of his multi-million selling records was the core of a song of mine he had heard and we discussed in my presence during one of my frequent music trips in the 1980’s. I was a little more than hurt and felt I deserved not only the royalties for my creation, but also the credibility that went along with a “cut” of that magnitude by a name recording artist.

I retained a highly regarded entertainment attorney in Detroit (he represented many of the athletes on the professional sports teams in Detroit as well as one of the all-time greatest boxers and even some famous civil rights icons) who just happened to also be a truly wonderful and giving human being.

It was in a meeting with this man that I casually mentioned Curtis and my desire to do something very special for him. In my heart, I had a feeling Curtis would not live for too many more years. Sickle cell sufferers often died in their early twenties (or even before, two+ decades ago). I really wasn’t expecting anything from my lawyer in this regard, but the next day the phone rang and I was instructed to have Curtis “dressed up” and at the Palace of Auburn Hills at a specific gate number one hour prior to a Detroit Pistons game later that week.

Curtis was a huge basketball fan. His hero of heroes was Isaiah Thomas, captain of the Motor City NBA Champs the prior two years. But I didn’t let on to Curtis where we were going that night. Just that we were hanging out. I just asked his foster mother (and I use the term “mother” very lightly) to have him dressed nicely with his birth certificate in hand by a certain time.

Curtis was on time, eagerly waiting on his rickety porch when I pulled up. But to my utter dismay, he looked as disheveled as he always did in his over-baggy, tattered clothes. And of course, he couldn’t find his birth certificate.

Now, can you imagine the fancy dancin’ I had to do at U.S. Customs having this ‘gang looking’ teenager with no identification trying to cross the border with a business man in a new BMW? Well, fate and some silver-tongued talkin’ prevailed and we were soon racing up I-75 to The Game.

I tried to make idle conversation with the excited but slouching teenager. All Curtis could do was hound me. “Is it a ballgame? Is it a concert? Rick, where are we going?” I love to tease. Finally, he glimpsed the landmark dome of the arena from the freeway and knew he was going to get to see his favorite team play.

We found the specified gate, parked and walked to the entrance. Walking with Curtis was always a little frustrating for me (he would do the ‘slow, cool stroll’ and I am a brisk walker) but this time I knew there was something special waiting that we should almost race to.

We were met by a well-dressed, executive-looking middle-aged man, who just happened to be the Vice-President of Public Relations for the Detroit Pistons. Talk about first class! He escorted Curtis not to his seat but directly to the Pistons’ bench, where Curtis’ eyes grew almost as big as the basketballs the giant athletes had just started tossing around in their pre-game warm-up.

I was led to our prime seats directly behind the bench. A waitress visited only seconds after that, taking my order for refreshments. Everything was ‘on the house’.

I saw one of the assistant coaches introduce himself to Curtis, and next thing I know, well, guess who’s center court tossing the ball around with his hero, Isaiah? Soon, he was running the court and shooting hoops with Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars, and the rest of the elite players!

At this point, I couldn’t even imagine the exhilaration that this young man who life never seemed to smile upon was experiencing at this very moment! I mean, how could anyone’s wildest imagination even envision this ravaged spirit and body trying to ‘deke the Bad Boys of basketball?’ I just sat quietly in utter amazement, misty eyed and SO grateful to my legal friend and the ‘human’ management of this professional sports team who arranged all of this for one person – a Canadian kid who was close to my heart.

When the warm-up was done, Curtis climbed up with me. The first half of the game was great. The Pistons were pounding their opponents. A few of the players even glanced back and thumbs-upped to their new teammate! By the time the half-time buzzer sounded I was certain Curtis’ dream day was complete.

But hold on, this was only half time! The same assistant coach who invited Curtis onto the hardwood floor pre-game, called for him to hang with the team in the sanctuary of the dressing room during their much-needed break. Give ME a break!

I’ll never forget what I think was the widest smile I have ever seen as the team emerged onto the floor afterwards and my little guy ‘cool strolling’ as proudly as I’ve ever seen anyone. And much quicker than I ever recalled. What a night!!

The ride home was quiet. Opposite of the ride there. Curtis slept most of the long way home. I could only imagine his dreams. Canada Customs was kind and allowed him to sleep through their few brief questions for me. It was sad to see him sleepily stagger up the sidewalk to his stark reality, after having just left a world where I’d bet no one would believe he had been.

Somehow I thought I would receive a phone call from Curtis the next day. But it never came. Two days later I had a very good reason to call him. My attorney and the team had arranged to have every player on the NBA Champion Detroit Pistons sign the game ball from that night, and Federal Express it to my home address, to give to Curtis. An autographed yearbook was included too.

I couldn’t wait to tell him. I mean, I was flabbergasted at this unexpected and over-the-top gesture! I recall excitedly dialing his number and the deflation after hearing that “Curtis took off to Toronto yesterday.” Foster mom went on to explain that she didn’t know where he was or how to contact him. And neither did the Children’s Aid Society.

Little did I know that evening would be the last time I would ever see Curtis. My instincts tell me that he is not with us anymore. But if he is, he has one great gift still waiting for him.

©Rick Beneteau

67 Comments

  1. cbd oil says:

    cbd oil

    […]usually posts some really intriguing stuff like this. If you are new to this site[…]

  2. cbd oil for cats

    […]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]

  3. english bulldog puppies

    […]Here is a great Weblog You may Come across Fascinating that we Encourage You[…]

  4. french bulldog puppies

    […]usually posts some extremely exciting stuff like this. If you are new to this site[…]

  5. maltipoo puppies

    […]here are some hyperlinks to sites that we link to since we think they’re worth visiting[…]

  6. beagle puppies

    […]one of our guests not long ago suggested the following website[…]

  7. reparatie infundaturi auto

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated data, nevertheless seriously worth taking a look, whoa did one particular find out about Mid East has got much more problerms at the same time […]

  8. Commercial Exterminators

    […]that could be the end of this article. Here you will come across some web pages that we feel you’ll enjoy, just click the hyperlinks over[…]

  9. Commercial pest control service

    […]Here are some of the web pages we advise for our visitors[…]

  10. Thesis Writers

    […]the time to study or check out the subject material or web sites we’ve linked to below the[…]

  11. Kratom Pills

    […]check beneath, are some completely unrelated internet sites to ours, even so, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  12. German Shepherd Puppies

    […]usually posts some pretty exciting stuff like this. If you are new to this site[…]

  13. Australian Shepherd Puppies for sale

    […]please take a look at the websites we stick to, including this a single, because it represents our picks through the web[…]

  14. Boxer puppies

    […]here are some hyperlinks to sites that we link to simply because we feel they are really worth visiting[…]

  15. White Maeng Da

    […]usually posts some extremely exciting stuff like this. If you are new to this site[…]

  16. Pitbull Puppies for sale

    […]the time to study or check out the content material or web pages we’ve linked to below the[…]

  17. Border collie puppies

    […]Here are a number of the sites we recommend for our visitors[…]

  18. Doberman pinscher Puppies for sale

    […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]

  19. mksorb.com says:

    mksorb.com

    […]usually posts some pretty exciting stuff like this. If you are new to this site[…]

  20. mksorb.com says:

    mksorb.com

    […]here are some links to internet sites that we link to for the reason that we feel they’re worth visiting[…]

  21. Used Fur Coat

    […]usually posts some really interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

  22. Kratom near me

    […]check beneath, are some totally unrelated web-sites to ours, nonetheless, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  23. Buy Legal Buds Online

    […]here are some hyperlinks to sites that we link to due to the fact we feel they may be worth visiting[…]

  24. Sell rolex says:

    Sell rolex

    […]Here is a superb Weblog You may Come across Interesting that we Encourage You[…]

  25. Sell jewelry

    […]Here are a number of the sites we suggest for our visitors[…]

  26. 먹튀검증

    […]Here are several of the web sites we recommend for our visitors[…]

  27. Corgi puppies

    […]below you’ll uncover the link to some websites that we believe it is best to visit[…]

  28. Dog Apparel

    […]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but do not get a whole lot of link love from[…]

  29. russian orthodox icons

    […]one of our guests lately proposed the following website[…]

  30. russian characters

    […]below you’ll uncover the link to some sites that we feel you’ll want to visit[…]

  31. Book Store Near Me

    […]please take a look at the web sites we adhere to, like this one particular, because it represents our picks in the web[…]

  32. OnHax Me says:

    OnHax Me

    […]just beneath, are many totally not connected web sites to ours, even so, they’re surely worth going over[…]

  33. PMP Dumps says:

    PMP Dumps

    […]we like to honor several other web websites around the net, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  34. YouTube Backlink

    […]very few web sites that come about to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely really worth checking out[…]

  35. Brass Knuckles Vape Pen

    […]very handful of websites that take place to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly very well worth checking out[…]

  36. Exotic Carts

    […]please go to the internet sites we adhere to, which includes this 1, as it represents our picks from the web[…]

  37. RDP Windows 10 Home

    […]Here is a good Weblog You might Discover Interesting that we Encourage You[…]

  38. Fake Money For Sale

    […]Here are a number of the web pages we advise for our visitors[…]

  39. Dank Cartridges

    […]here are some hyperlinks to web-sites that we link to because we feel they may be worth visiting[…]

  40. ahmedabad escorts service

    […]that is the end of this article. Here you’ll discover some sites that we feel you’ll enjoy, just click the hyperlinks over[…]

  41. citizens indian visa for us citizens

    […]very handful of websites that occur to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely really worth checking out[…]

  42. india visa says:

    india visa

    […]here are some links to web sites that we link to due to the fact we feel they may be really worth visiting[…]

  43. German Shepherd Puppies For Sale Near Me

    […]Every the moment inside a while we pick out blogs that we study. Listed below are the most current web pages that we pick out […]

  44. Pug Puppies For Sale

    […]Here are a few of the web sites we suggest for our visitors[…]

  45. Link says:

    Link

    […]we came across a cool site that you just may possibly take pleasure in. Take a look in case you want[…]

  46. more info here

    […]The data talked about inside the report are some of the best readily available […]

  47. Undetectable Fake Money For Sale

    […]one of our guests just lately recommended the following website[…]

  48. Vishwas Thakkar

    […]Here are a number of the web-sites we advise for our visitors[…]

  49. seo training hong kong

    […]just beneath, are quite a few completely not related sites to ours, even so, they’re certainly worth going over[…]

  50. Vishwas Thakkar

    […]The data mentioned inside the report are a few of the ideal readily available […]

  51. indian visa for us citizens

    […]The details mentioned within the article are several of the best readily available […]

  52. indian visa application

    […]below you will discover the link to some web pages that we assume you need to visit[…]

  53. インド緊急ビザ

    […]please stop by the sites we adhere to, which includes this one, because it represents our picks in the web[…]

  54. visto per la nuova zelanda

    […]below you’ll discover the link to some sites that we feel you must visit[…]

  55. new zealand visa

    […]very couple of internet websites that occur to be comprehensive beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly very well really worth checking out[…]

  56. Pendik Escort

    […]Here is a superb Weblog You might Find Exciting that we Encourage You[…]

  57. Kartal Escort

    […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]

  58. Pembroke Welsh Corgi Puppies

    […]just beneath, are numerous absolutely not connected websites to ours, nevertheless, they may be surely really worth going over[…]

  59. Pitbull Dog For Sale

    […]please take a look at the web pages we comply with, like this one particular, because it represents our picks from the web[…]

  60. Bengal Cats For Sale

    […]Here are several of the internet sites we recommend for our visitors[…]

  61. Kittens For Sale Near Me

    […]Here is an excellent Weblog You may Locate Exciting that we Encourage You[…]

  62. Blue Cat says:

    Blue Cat

    […]please visit the web-sites we comply with, like this one particular, because it represents our picks from the web[…]

  63. Maine Coon Cat For Sale

    […]please stop by the websites we comply with, such as this one, as it represents our picks from the web[…]

  64. free v bucks

    […]one of our guests not long ago encouraged the following website[…]

  65. free v bucks

    […]one of our visitors lately recommended the following website[…]

  66. v bucks شحن

    […]Here is a good Weblog You might Discover Fascinating that we Encourage You[…]

  67. English Bulldog

    […]just beneath, are a lot of completely not connected web sites to ours, on the other hand, they are certainly worth going over[…]

Leave a Reply