“No one knew where Patty came from. She just showed up here one day with a dog she found. She couldn’t tell us anything about her parents. She was malnourished and in terrible health. She has been with us for 10 years, and now we think she is 16 years old.” That was the introduction that Henry gave Brianna about Patty.
When Brianna first met Patty, she struggled to get her to open up. She was obviously fearful of adults. The only way Brianna could reach Patty was to ask her about her dog.
“I found Bacon in an alley knocking over garbage cans to get something to eat. I call him Bacon because that’s what he was eating when I found him.” So began Patty’s story about her dog. “Bacon is afraid of humans so he and I mostly stay by ourselves”, she continued.
As Brianna got Patty to open up, she discovered a very creative young woman. Patty loved creating stories and telling them to Bacon. Many of the stories were of hope and were very inspirational. Brianna marveled at how Patty was able to make the stories come alive. Unfortunately, none were ever written down. Unknown to Patty, Brianna recorded the stories and had them placed in text. Then she asked a friend to do some illustrations to go with the written text. The story was then put in book form.
Brianna wanted to present the book to Patty but she had an idea she wanted to try. Enlisting Henry’s help, Brianna wanted to open up Patty’s talent.
Brianna and Patty met in the commons area when other children were in class. Brianna presented the book to Patty and the look on Patty’s face was one of the most joyous moments Brianna had ever experienced. “Would you read the book to me?” Brianna asked.
By this time, many of the younger children had quietly entered the commons area, led by Henry. Patty was not aware of the presence of an audience when she began reading .For a girl who struggled with reading when she first arrived at Henry’s foundation, the reading was lively and entertaining.
As she finished the reading, the young children erupted in applause and cheers. They rushed Patty and Bacon, giving them hugs. Then the children started shouting: “Again! Again! Again!” Patty started again, this time with children immediately in front of her.
Henry pulled Brianna aside. “Congratulations, you have just created a crucible moment.”
* * *
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
– Theodore Roosevelt