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Sunday, January 5, 2014

EPISODE XXXVII - YOU INSPIRED ME!

EPISODE XXXVII - YOU INSPIRED ME!
It has been an amazing time in Toronto during the Pan American Games this year, 2015. Many wonderful memories were created by the athletes and their followers. I am not much of a sports fan but a fanatic follower of the Olympic Games as you can probably imagine. As a young man, I too was inspired to become an Olympian.
It was late September of 1965, at the age of fifteen, that I had gone to visit Prof. Hctif at the Royal Victoria health center for my usual monthly observation. I would usually return home via McGill University's, Molson Stadium because from the distance, I would get a glimpse of Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal Hospital, where I would look out into "The Secret Garden", which brought back vivid memories of my love, Lucy. By the wire fence, I noticed a young man, sneak in through a tear in the mesh; I decided to follow him to see what he was up to. He crawled underneath the bleachers to a place where some old cardboard hid his treasure. He hurriedly exposed a long piece of wood of about two meters and a circular metal object. He moved out into the open field carrying his two objects of importance. Placing the metal disc on one of the lower bleachers, he proceeded to run while carrying his long wooden spear over his right shoulder. Once he had acquired enough forward momentum, he arched his back way back suddenly springing forward like an elastic band letting go, only to fling his javelin into the air with a release of an aching scream. The wooden spear left his forward thrust and after a few seconds of travel in the air landed some distance from him. He raised his fists in glory at his accomplishment, waited for a little and moved to the bench where he had parked his round metal disc. He once again twirled in a circular fashion like a ballerina step-hopping and twisting, he flung the metal object some distance but not as far as the javelin. As I unconsciously stood taller to seek out the landing of his throw, I exposed my location and the young man called out to me, “Did you see that?”. Surprised at his address of me, I nodded, “Who me?” as I looked around me to see if he was gesturing to someone else. “Yes, you, he responded.” We soon became friends.
This was Carl; a tall slender guy, a year older than me, about sixteen. He had been fascinated watching 1964, Olympic Games, hosted in Tokyo (Games of the XVIII Olympiad)  and kept talking about his dream to compete in the next 1968, Olympic games in Mexico (Games of the XIX Olympiad). Initially, I accepted whatever Carl told me regarding this goal but after going home and consulting my World Book Encyclopedia, which my father had just purchased for me, I had more questions about his goal. I decided to tag along convincing myself, “If he can do it, why can’t I”: According to what I was reading, it took many long hours of practice, specialized coaches in each field of expertise and the right equipment. Carl had neither; as it turned out, Carl was in a worse situation than me which I was soon to find out. We agreed to meet every day at the Plateau park of Mount Royal.
Every day after school at around five and whenever my father did not need me to mind the store, I would go over to the park, where sure enough, Carl would be throwing his javelin or discus.  The discus was quite heavy because it was made of cement injected into the two circular saucepan plates and often broke on impact. I surprised Carl one day, when I arrived at our meeting place, carrying an official rubberized 2 kg, Olympic discus; he was ecstatic! I had found out where to purchase a discus in the advertising section of one of the comic book magazines, I was reading about superheroes: I had spent all of the eleven dollars in my savings to buy that official discuss; my next goal was to purchase an official javelin at about thirty-nine dollars. Carl was embarrassed when I mentioned that we could get the javelin even faster if we were to pool our money, he had none. 
As time went on, Carl would come with me to my home and often enough, he would be invited to have dinner with us. My mother was impressed by his voracious appetite, despite him being very slim; she often wondered out loud in Greek to all of us, “poli pinasmeno to pedi” (Very hungry child.) He often wore the same clothes, and his sneakers were full of holes as if someone had used them for target practice. My mother encouraged me to share with Carl, some hand me downs, she was given at the Royal Victoria; clothes were given to my mother by her supervisor, Mrs. Delormier for my use.
One day, I had to run an errand for my father, to deliver some pictures to one of his customers on Rue Jeanne-Mance, when I spotted Carl coming down the stairs of one of the houses. As I called out to him, he slowed his descent and stared at me; as I got closer, he showed very little joy in seeing me as he had always done and seemed somewhat uncomfortable. “Do you live here?”, I asked. “Kind off.”, he responded; each time turning and looking up at the house to see if anyone was peering out through the windows. As I tried to engage in a conversation about when we should go to practice later that day, the door opened from above and a woman with blond hair stepped out; it was Carl’s mother. As she descended the stairs, one could smell her overpowering perfume. Her dress and looks were not what one would expect of a “mother”; my grandmother had used very descriptive words of such women, “Of the street.”. She leaned over slightly, without greeting me, kissed Carl on the cheek and just strolled away down the street. Soon after, the door opened up and a black man walked out; Carl became more uncomfortable and nervous. Before the man could reach the base of the stairs, Carl, patted me on the shoulder and called out, “Let's go!”
As we walked towards the park, Carl tried to make small talk but each time ended each sentence with a deep noticeable sight. Unaccustomed to such behavior from him, I interjected by asking him if there was anything wrong. He suddenly stopped his pace, bowed his head low and tears started running down his face. When I asked what was wrong, he dashed and ran away. “Carl wait!”, I called out, as I ran after him. After some distance, I caught up with him and as I looked into his distraught face, he raised his head staring at me and saying, “I guess you don't want us to be friends anymore?”. I responded by asking him why he was saying this? As we now strolled along the park sidewalk, Carl began to open up to me and revealed some very disturbing things about his family predicament.
His mother was a woman of “ill repute”, bringing home all types of men at all hours. He had not known his father and whenever he asked about him to his mom, she always described him as “a no good bum”. Carl had grown up in most part, with his aunt in Châteauguay, but last year, his aunt Bernice had fallen ill with cancer and could not care for him anymore. He hated living with his mom but had no other place to live. His story was so much familiar to that of the story of young Ayonwatha.
His description of “sexual acts”, he had witnessed, whetted my curiosity as a young teen of fifteen; Carl thought himself very adult and offered to educate me on what it was all about: That evening, I was to sneak out of my home at about 9:00. We were supposed to climb to the top of the row housing where he lived, where we would see a “live performance” through the rooftop skylight next to the house he was living at. That afternoon, Constable Martineau dropped by my home and asked me if we could go for a chat at our usual  mountain lookout.
  I was somewhat nervous at first but I knew I could not keep a secret from my mentor. I had previously mention Carl to him and he had already done his research on Carl's predicament. Constable Martineau was amazed that I would accept to go with Carl “roof hoping” as he put it. He repeated his, “Jeune aventurier de la lumière.” (Young adventurer of the Light.). He would interject here and there, as I explained to him what Carl had suggested we do. Still, he realized that I was a teen, who although “different”, still had the curiosity as all teens of my age. To my surprise, he informed me that he had already spoken to some people about helping Carl out. He was waiting for a reply from a physical education instructor at a private college. He recommended that I not go “roof hoping”, with my friend Carl, informing me of the dangers and the possible involvement of the police for trespassing and disrespecting people's privacy. I should have known better and felt ashamed. Constable Martineau assured me that he understood my curiosity and admitted a similar experience when he was about my age as he chuckled with memories. We decided to seek Carl out at the rendezvous point at 9:00 o’clock and that he would speak to him. I was sure Carl would be excited to hear about the possibility of his own private coach.
When we approached Rue Jeanne-Mance, near Carl's home in Constable Martineau's police cruiser, I could see Carl slowly crossing the street. When the cruiser was within meters of Carl, I stuck my head out the car window and I called out to him, "Carl!" He froze in his footsteps like a wild animal on whom someone shines a light, he seemed horrified. As I stepped out of the police cruiser,  he began to pace faster away from me and yelled in a screaming voice, “Traitor!” and started to run away. By the time I could comprehend what had gone on, Carl had ran to the security of a nearby lane. Constable Martineau honked his car horn and signaled to me, to return to the cruiser and soon we were rushing down the alleyway in per-suite. When we managed the turn of the corner of the adjoining alleyway, Carl had disappeared. Constable Martineau was upset at himself that he had not considered that Carl would misinterpret our good intentions:  We discussed whether we would go to his home and ask for him but decided against it because that would place Carl in a tenuous position with his mother and her boyfriend(s). According to Constable Martineau, “Nous savons de ses activités ; pauvre garçon.” (We know of her activities; poor boy.) Constable Martineau brought me home with an understanding that I would meet up with Carl, the following day and I could try to explain to him our good intentions and give him the good news of him having a coach. Constable Martineau would do some further background checks on Carl’s mother and “her associates”.
When I looked for Carl in school the next day, he was nowhere to be found. At about noon, I was called down to the school office, where to my surprise, Constable Martineau, waited for me. The vice-principal asked me to step into his office, he and Constable Martineau, broke the horrific news to me; Carl had been seriously injured and was in the hospital! As we drove to the Royal Victoria Hospital, I broke into tears listening to Constable Martineau explain how Carl had been injured: He was found on a second level rooftop. He had apparently tried to jump from one rooftop to an adjacent building when his shoelace was caught in between the gap of the flushing; he had  tripped, falling to the deck below. His injuries were very serious.
They had looked for Carl's mother at the house but she was nowhere to be found. Neighbors had seen her get into a car late that evening, which according to them was not so unusual. At that point, it was only my family and I, along with Constable Martineau, who seemed to be the only persons who knew or cared about this young man. When we arrived at the emergency ward, the doctors asked us to wait because they were about to transfer Carl to the intensive ward and that we should go and wait there. Sure enough, fifteen minutes or so later, Carl's bed was wheeled down the corridor. A huge hose-like tube had been inserted in his mouth and his head was bandaged, his left leg was in traction. My stomach tensed as I gagged for air when I saw the awful state my friend was in; I felt terribly responsible for having caused this unfortunate accident. Constable Martineau asked me to wait outside in the waiting area while he sought to get information from the doctors and nursing staff.
It was very serious. Constable Martineau said, “Carl had a head injury and was placed in an induced comma. Some ribs were broken and his femur bone had a hairline fracture; only time would give doctors a reasonable evaluation of this young man's prognosis.” He said there was nothing for us to do but wait, it would be some days. When arrived home with Constable Martineau, my parents and sister were shocked to hear from Constable Martineau, what had occurred and my mother continued making her cross repeatedly, calling out, “Ο Θεός να σώσει το παιδί, ο Θεός και η Παναγία, ο Θεός και η Παναγία.” (God should save the child, God and Virgin Mary, God, and Virgin Mary.) After some time with  Constable Martineau and my family, I went to bed exhausted and allowed asleep to take me; soon I drifted to that familiar place of harmony and wisdom, I entered the Elysian Fields.
In the vast valley of eternity, among the fearless heroes of universal truth and wisdom, I sensed the winds of Okeanos play, and golden blossoms burn, some nursed upon the waters, others on land on glorious  trees in blossom; they spoke to me:
“Φορέας Φωτός, για άλλη μια φορά αισθανόμαστε το πόνο της απώλειας σας. Να ξέρετε ότι θα κερδίσει πολλή αλήθεια από αυτή την εμπειρία. Προειδοποιήσει και πάλι τα λόγια του θεραπευτή θεού Ασκληπιού και τις «τύχες» (Moira), το οποίο θα συνδεθεί με το είδος σας. Ο γιος της βόρειες φυλές που καλείτε ο φίλος σας, έχει το δικό του πεπρωμένο του να αμφισβητήσει.”

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“Bearer of the Light, once again we sense your pain of loss and know that you will gain much truth from this experience. Be warned again of the words of the healer, God Asclepius and the "fates" (Moira), which bind you to your kind. The son of the northern tribes you call your friend has his own destiny to challenge.”
I knew what needed to be done: The Elysium was giving me guidance, that I should not use my healing powers of the Light within me,  to save my friend; I would be  interfering with his destiny. I had to find another way to help my friend.

During my visits to the hospital to see my friend Carl, the environment of the hospital and the association to the loss of my Lucy and the loss of my mentor, M. Joseph, began to cause me to have these flashbacks to their time and condition. I knew that the few times I had mentioned elements of my visits to the Elysium Fields to M. Joseph, his face glowed with wonder and he seemed almost re-energized, despite his desperate physical injuries, when he was in his hospital bed. I became more emboldened thinking about my Lucy and how after my descriptions of my visits to the Elysium Fields, soon empowered her to be able to visit the Elysium Fields all on her own from her hospital bed. This was the answer, the key to helping my friend Carl, indirectly! If I could not help him physically, through the Light within me, as I was advised not to do so by the judges of the Elysium, I would help him heal himself by guiding and sharing with him the wonders of this place: By my descriptions of these wonders of awe, I would  allow my friend Carl to “dream big!” I asked Prof.  Hctif of “The Security Group.”, for his assistance.
Prof.  Hctif was also curious to find out if my healing powers went beyond the powers of direct intervention of the Light as we had been doing secretly thus far when I was helping young children at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. He was eager to introduce me to an associate of his whom he referred to as "Dr. Brenda.", a neuropsychologist.





Dr. Brenda was exceedingly curious of me and spent much of her time sitting next to me and Carl when I visited him. She had permanently attached wires on Carl’s skull, very much like Prof. Hctif had done in his lab years earlier on me as he was examining my powers: These wires led to a portable machine which had been brought in; they recorded these wiggly lines on scrolling paper. After a few sessions of my talking to Carl and describing to him the wonders of the Elysium Fields, I began to question,  who was being influenced most; my friend Carl who remained motionless and still,  or Dr. Brenda, who beamed with smiles and joy as she glossed over the readings of this instrument. She could not get enough of my speaking to Carl; she repeated after my every pause, almost begged me, “Please continue.”: Apparently, somehow, Carl was mentally reacting to my voice in ways she had never seen before in an individual who was placed in a self-induced comma. As with Prof. Hctif, when he was examining me in his lab, “Things were off the charts!”, according to Dr. Brenda.
When I returned back home, I faced a barrage of questioning, especially from my mother. She would often visit me during her breaks at work at the Royal Victoria Hospital, to see how I was doing and check up on Carl’s condition. As time progressed, my mother became more anxious that “my secret”, might be discovered, should Carl be healed. As such, she would often light the "livanistiri" (Incense burner) at home and have us pray. On several occasions, she had the priest visit young Carl at the hospital for a special prayer for his recovery, that way, any "miracle" would be attributed to a religious intervention. Some weeks later, it was time.
Dr. Brenda, with the assistance of another doctor, an anesthetist, slowly started reducing the amount of drug given to Carl which had kept him in deep sleep all these many days. They had dimmed the lights to almost total darkness as we slowly waited for Carl to open his eyes. The first words that Carl whispered, were, "Elias, I know the way, I know the way!" Dr. Brenda asked him not to try to speak too much, for now, he would have plenty of time later when he was fully recovered. I was amazed how quickly my friend was recovering.
On one of my visits to the hospital to see Carl, I found this man and woman, whom I had never seen before, along with my mentor, Constable Martineau, in the room with Carl. They were introduced as M. and Mme. Provencher. Mr. Provencher was the coach from Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, who had been interested in coaching Carl: Turns out, that the Provenchers had lost their son in a boating accident some months earlier, almost at the same time Carl had his accident, and they were interested in adopting Carl. 
In time, my friend Carl recovered fully. His new family was more than he could ask for. He had, over time, become a medical doctor, married with two wonderful and accomplished adult children and  a grandfather of five grandchildren. As of last year, he left this current reality, perhaps granted entrance to the Elysium Fields. Although both Carl and I, never made it to the Olympics, my experiences with him revealed much to me and to my "Security Group.": I did not need to use my healing powers to directly heal individuals, putting myself at risk of being discovered. My ability to share my experiences and knowledge of the Elysium Fields, the sharing of this place of wonder with the young, was enough to heal their every agony and fear and to help them attain their full potential. And hence, I decided from then on, to become a teacher and to share the knowledge and wisdom of my life experiences. Later, as "The Substitute Teacher", and with permission of "The Security Group", I was allowed to write my stories in order to reach a wider audience, near and far. My greatest reward, at my age of 3017, is to meet many of my former students or have them write to me and be told by many, "Thank you, Sir, You Inspired me!". 

By Elias Leousis,

(Η αγάπη είναι το μελάνι, η σοφία είναι το μήνυμα.)
Love is the ink; wisdom is the message!





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