Saturday, January 24, 2009

Have A Shay Day


I would like to share with you something I received in my e-mail the other day. Normally, I wouldn't do this, mostly because e-mail is a rather private thing, and I've gotten burned royally a couple of years ago sharing my e-mail correspondence with someone else. But this time, I got something that actually moved me, and after asking (and receiving) permission from the person who sent it, I would like to share it with you.

Now, I have no idea who the original author of the e-mail is, as this was forwarded to many, many people, so I can't give proper credit where credit is due. If anyone knows where this might have originated from, by all means, please let me know.

With that said, here is the e-mail entitled, "Have a Shay Day"
At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.

After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: 'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.'

'Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?'

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'

Then he told the following story:

'Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys that Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

'I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, "We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning."

'Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

'In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

'In the bottom of the ninth, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat. At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

'Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

'The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher. The game would now be over.

'The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game. Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all his teammates.

'Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, "Shay, run to first! Run to first!" Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!"

'Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball. The smallest guy on the team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third baseman's head.

'Shay ran towards third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases towards home. All were screaming, "Shay, Shay, Shay, all the way Shay!" Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third! Shay, run to third!"

'As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, "Shay, run home! Run home!" Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.'

'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world.

'Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!'

We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the 'natural order of things'. So many trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice: Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?

A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.

May your day, be a Shay Day.


  1. I've received that email myself. I don't know if it's real or not, but it's one of those things that you WANT to be real.

    It kind of reminds me of that high school basketball game a couple of years ago when they put that severely autistic kid in the game and he started draining like seven 3-pointers in a row. That kid became national news, and it was very touching.

  2. I wasn't sure either. Matter of fact I'm still not sure, but in any event, it's was a nifty heartwarming story.

    I normally don't share my e-mails with the public (as you can attest to), but this one struck a nerve, so I wanted to share it with everyone else.

  3. That one sent chills up and down my spine. What a wonderful story. I hope it's true. And I hope some of those boys become our next President and senators. The world will be a better place.

  4. Most definitely.

    The world will indeed be a better place.

  5. Now that's what makes life worth living, having Shay days.

    Thank you Georgie. A lot.

  6. You're more than welcome Jannie.

    It does brighten up a day, doesn't it.

  7. This was just a wonderful story to share - thank you for renewing my faith in humanity. Sometimes, it just amazes me how truly selfish people really are, and this story (however true it may be) reminds me that we were all put here for a reason and sometimes, the reason is as simple as making someone feel loved and needed, even for just a few precious minutes.

    I'm pleased to know that you visited, and enjoyed, my blog, Random Ramblings. And yes, be thankful your children are now past the screaming-about-everything-just-because-they-can stage. If I didn't adore them so much, I might have run away screaming, never to return, by now!

    Have a wonderful day!

    Oh - where are you in CT? I can't remember if I asked you that or not, but I'm originally from CT myself!


  8. I'm hoping its true as well, but it did brighten my day when I first received it.

    Again, thanks for stopping by.

    I'm from (and currently reside) in Newington.

    I live right across the street from my blog's title.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

The Legal Disclaimer

All the content that you see here, except for the posting of links that refer to other off-blog stories, is (c) 2008-17 by G.B. Miller. Nothing in whole or in part may be used without the express written permission of myself. If you wish to use any part of what you see here, please contact me at