This story full of Love is my gift to YOU.


Chapter 3. Meeting my little soul mate...

    My kitchen felt a bit empty; now that John had left my house, to talk to his little brother and try to bring him here.
I sat down on one of the empty folding chairs, absent-mindedly staring at the playing sparrows in my backyard that were still chasing each other through the bushes.
Still basking in my heartwarming feelings, I started to reflect on what had happened during my talk with John.
It certainly felt good, to have such a friend around...

    Suddenly, I sat up in surprise; perceiving that, since this morning, I was feeling more alive than I had ever been before!  
My so affectionate new friend HAD an astonishing healthy and refreshing impact on me!
I certainly hoped he would return soon, preferably accompanied by his little Gypsy brother...

    Slowly, my arms started to show little goose bumps, as if somebody faintly touched them.
Then, I sensed somebody around me, as if I still had some unseen company.
Again, I felt my own little brother, Joshie, as if he was here and watched over me.
Or, could this be Jack, the late owner of my house?

    A very strange thought crossed my mind and made me wonder...
Could it be that Jack and little Joshie were the same person?
Did dead people grow up in heaven, and become older?
My 'ghost', or was it a 'spirit', certainly felt like Joshie, but he also felt like Jack!

    Although I still didn't really believe in such a thing as 'life after death'; I silently greeted Jack, or was it Joshie, in my mind...
A moment later, all the sounds around my kitchen started to mute.
The air became a bit chilly, while a faint draft seemed to whirl around me.
What the heck was happening here? This was rather spooky!
I had a feeling as if a huge cathedral built up around the kitchen, while I started to smell a faint scent of wild flowers.
I even thought I heard a celestial chorus, singing beautiful songs in the background.
Was I becoming insane?

    Now, I thought I saw something vague and misty, slowly building up in a corner.
Feeling very surprised, I stared at the phenomena, wondering what it might be.
The vague mist seemed to move around slowly, looking like some hazy colored steam.
After a moment, the steamy mist started to take shape, slowly building up into the hazy form of a man!
The man even smiled at me.

    This vague and misty form looked like a grown-up version of my own little brother!
However, I also thought the man could have been John's father, having exactly the same warm eyes and brown hair with little curls around the edges...
He looked around fifty years old; and I had a feeling as if he and I had known each other for ages, and had once been very close friends.
Did I really see the spirit of Jack, the late owner of my house?
He showed a warm and friendly smile, and had deep brown eyes that felt as if they saw right through me.
I could clearly sense his powerful love, radiating towards me and warming my soul.
Slowly, he started to look more defined, while he lifted his hand in a greeting gesture.
    Then, he told me, his voice seemingly coming from within my head:
    "Don't doubt so much, because you are doing the right things!"

    Now, I started to see and hear strange things that couldn't be there in reality...
Did I really see a 'ghost', or could this be a 'spirit'?  What was the difference?
Its form was very vague and almost transparent, making me doubt again.
This misty form was too faint, like a hologram in an old space film, and almost non-existent!
Maybe, I was making up the whole thing in my mind...

    My heart was sure I saw Jack, the former owner of my house; but my brain still wasn't ready to accept it.
Ghosts simply didn't exist, except in those stupid haunting films.
Everybody else knew that!
I had to be daydreaming, unconsciously fantasizing that spirit in my mind.
However, I still felt the huge cathedral, built around my kitchen, with an angelic chorus singing in the background...
Also, the colored steam didn't go away, even after I forcefully tried to stop my weird fantasy.

    After a moment of severe doubt, and again trying to deny what I saw, I decided to play along with my strange daydream.
Maybe, then, I would wake up from my fantasy and be able to laugh at myself.
    Hesitantly, I told the vague spirit, by thinking in my head:

    "Sorry for doubting so much. However, I am doing the best I can."

    His answer came promptly, sounding loud and clear in my head:

    "I know, and I trust you. Just listen to your heart."

    At the same moment, the vague spirit disappeared without leaving any trace.
The air immediately warmed up, and my goose bumps went away...
Had this been for real?
Had I really been communicating with Jack's spirit?
I looked around, but everything in the kitchen seemed to be 'normal' again.
I tried to feel my little brother, but my kitchen felt empty and stayed empty.
I did my utmost to start a daydream about some misty ghost, but I didn't succeed.
Then, I tried to fantasize that vague mist, the huge cathedral, and the muted sounds, but nothing happened.
Now feeling very strange, I tried to contact Jack's spirit again, to try to ask him some questions; but nobody showed up.

    At last, I could draw only one reasonable conclusion: I had really seen a spirit!
Or, was I suddenly becoming insane and hallucinating?
As a therapist, I was familiar with hallucinations; so I was absolutely sure I didn't have those problems, yet.
My mind was still sound and healthy; but I couldn't possibly deny it any longer...
I HAD been communicating with a 'spirit', or maybe with a 'ghost'!
Or, could it be that Jack was our 'guardian angel'?

    It felt as if my whole 'normal' and conscious world suddenly turned upside down.
Every 'normal' person knows that ghosts and spirits don't exist.
In spite of this, I HAD been communicating with some 'spirit'!
Or, had this been a 'ghost'? There had to be some difference...

    Still feeling shaky and very confused, I went to the remaining pile of cardboard boxes and started to empty the next one.
Putting away its contents, I tried to divert my thoughts.
    Every time again, the words of Jack returned into my mind, telling me:

    "I trust you. Just listen to your heart."

    Why did Jack tell me he trusted me?
Often, I didn't even trust myself...

    Very much to my delight, I suddenly found my huge packet of tissues, lying on the bottom of a cardboard box.
Finally, I would be fully prepared, in case anyone needed them to dry their tears or blow their nose...
I went upstairs; and carefully stored the tissues where I could easily find them.

    I returned to my pile of boxes, and continued to empty them.
Meanwhile, I started to think about my strange feelings around John and that burnt little boy.
The only reasonable explanation I could find was that John and I had known each other before; maybe in several of our 'past lives'.
Of course, now, he was only thirteen years old; but I was sure that, in our past life, we were of the same age and best friends!
Vaguely, I got a sense of being trappers in a vast forest, both of us hunting and selling pelts for a living.
I had a little son, and my best friend helped me by babysitting my little boy while I was away.
Until a hungry grizzly bear killed all of us...

    Again feeling very strange, I shook my head to get rid of my vague daydream.
Had this been for real? Had I really remembered one of my past lives?
This was totally impossible, of course... Dead is dead, and it is the end of everything!
I still didn't believe in more than one life on earth.

    After a moment of doubt, my thoughts returned to that burnt little Gypsy boy, who desperately missed his Big Friend.
Why did I feel so strangely emotional and longing to meet him, every time I started to think about that boy?
It also felt as if he and I were predestined to meet each other...
Had little Harry and I been together in our 'past lives', and were we now waiting for each other and longing to meet again?

    I tried to think of something else; but, every time, my thoughts returned to that burnt little boy.
Could he have been my own little son, in my past life, when we were trappers and John was babysitting him?
Now, in this life, John was helping him again, by being his big brother and protecting him...
Could it be that all of us belonged to each other, and that we really were bound to meet again?
My heart jumped up in my chest at the joyous thought...


    Suddenly, my doorbell rang, again loudly reverberating through the hallway.
I HAD to replace that wicked thing, as soon as possible, before it caused me to have a heart attack!
However, first I had to open my front door, to brush off the very unwelcome sales representative I hadn't invited.
Or, had John talked to his little brother, and convinced him to pay me a visit?
I rushed to the front door and opened it, suddenly feeling nervous.

    Five children expectantly looked up at me, huddling together in front of the door.
A sixth child shyly tried to hide from my view behind his friends, gently pushed forward by a motherly looking Marrie...
Here were all the little friends I missed so much!
They hadn't forgotten me.

    "What a pleasant surprise!" I exclaimed, beckoning them in,
"Please, come in, all of you, and maybe I can offer you a drink?"

    I turned around and went inside, without waiting for them or looking back at them.
I thought they might feel safer when I allowed them to enter my house voluntarily.
On my way, I collected five more folding chairs from the hallway closet.
Fortunately, I had bought plenty of them, for unexpected visitors...

    John chuckled, when he saw my clumsy efforts to carry five unwilling folding chairs.
Immediately, he jumped in and rescued me, by helping me drag them to the kitchen.
Working together, we unfolded them and placed them around the kitchen table.

    All the children followed us, soon huddling together in a corner of the kitchen and waiting for the things to come.
Five of them looked around curiously, pushing each other and bashfully smiling at me.
I could barely see the sixth one, who still tried to hide behind the huddle.

    John placed himself in front of his friends; smiling and looking proud.
Thomas put himself directly behind John; slightly leaning into him as if he looked for some protection.
Mark and Chrissy were again giggling and playfully pushing each other.
Marrie had her arms around a struggling little boy; gently pushing him forward...

    Little Harry still tried to hide from my view, but now I saw a bit more of him.
For a moment, I wondered about his hair, indeed being of a light brownish color.
The children had told me that little Harry was a Gypsy boy, and I always assumed that all Gypsies had dark hair.
Could it be that one of his parents had been of a non-Gypsy origin?
That would explain his blue eyes as well.
Fortunately, he didn't look too much like my own little brother, who had lost his hair in the fire and was completely bald.

    I beckoned the children towards the kitchen table, and told them:

    "Please, sit down, and let me take your order for a drink."

    John was the first one who moved away from the herd.
He went straight to the refrigerator, broadly smiling at me and obviously already feeling at home.
Next, he went to the table and sat down, proudly carrying a bottle of milk.
In the meantime, I collected six drinking glasses from a cupboard and put them in front of the chairs.
John turned around, and impatiently urged the other kids to join him.
Thomas looked at the others and hesitated... but he went to the table and sat down, close to John.
    I laughed at the suddenly rather shy rascal, and asked him:

    "What would you like to order: milk, hot chocolate, tea, or coffee?"

    Thomas voted for hot chocolate; so I took the bottle of milk from the table and poured some into a pan.
I put the pan onto the electric cook top to heat the milk, but decided to wait for the other kids.
Maybe, they wanted to have hot chocolate as well.
I turned around to ask them, and saw that Mark and Chrissy had already joined John and Thomas at the table, waiting for me to take their orders.
Marrie smiled at me, while she tried to push a hesitating little boy towards me.

    Finally, I was able to see some more of my little friend, for the first time.
He looked a bit too small for his age; but seemed to be lithe, strong, and healthy.
His wrinkled and stained arms clearly showed many visible effects of the burnings; but, luckily, his small hands seemed to be almost unaffected by the fire.
He had his head down, still trying to hide his burnt face from my prying eyes.
Didn't John tell him that I was used to having a burnt little brother around?

    I tried to read his body language, and felt very surprised.
This boy was absolutely NOT afraid of me!
He radiated quite a lot of self-consciousness and Inner Power, and seemed to be very proud of who he was.
He WAS afraid, but only to be disappointed in his own expectations...

    Gently, Marrie whispered into his ear to meet me and say hello.
At the same time, I sent him all my love, patiently waiting for him to reach a decision.
I could clearly feel his inner struggle to overcome his fear of being disappointed...

    Suddenly, he heaved a deep sigh, while he turned on sort of an inner switch!
At the same time, he straightened his back, stood upright, and lifted his head.
His eyes found mine; and he stared directly into them, burning deep holes into my very soul and looking straight through all my carefully built-up defenses.

    I looked back at him; and everything around us ceased to exist.
My whole world faded away, until I was solely aware of two beautiful deep blue orbs...

    Two curious and very bright blue eyes effortlessly probed into my soul, searching my deepest core for who I really was, making me feel totally naked and vulnerable.
This little boy had the most fascinating eyes I had ever seen.
They radiated a huge amount of intelligence, sadness, and self-consciousness; but also a deep longing...

    After a moment, I had to use all my strength, to be able to tear myself loose from his penetrating gaze and regain my own composure.
A very strong feeling of recognizing this special child overwhelmed my heart; almost making me dizzy and cry with sudden joy.
I was absolutely sure this special boy was the REAL reason why I was here!  
Only, don't ask me why...

    I forgot about the other children and the milk, and sank onto one knee to be on the same level as my new little friend.
Opening my arms, and almost feeling a deep reverence, I asked him:

    "Hi! You must be Harry. I am glad you joined our friends, and I am happy to meet you! May I have a hug, please?"

    For a moment, he turned back into a vulnerable little boy.
He looked shocked; and just stared at me, wide-eyed and open-mouthed...
Obviously, he hadn't expected to get such a spontaneous welcome from a stranger!
Then, his face lit up, a smile crossed his lips, and his wonderful eyes started to beam.
Again, he stared into my eyes, seeing right through me and probing my intentions.
I could clearly feel him search my soul for sincerity.
Could he really trust me? Did I really accept him as he was?
Or, would I soon feel too disgusted and reject him, as so many others had done after they saw his terribly burnt face...

    After a moment of hesitation, he seemed to be happy with what he saw.
Determinedly, he opened Marrie's arms and freed himself from her embrace.
He took a couple of steps towards me, until I was almost able to feel his body heat.
Then, he stopped, still staring at my face...

    In wonder, I looked at this very special boy, with his piercing bright blue eyes and his proud demeanor as if he could be sort of a Prince.
Again, I sensed a powerful aura of aristocracy around his lithe frame...
Did all Gypsies have such an enormous amount of inner power?  
Or, could this boy really be an aristocrat, maybe without knowing it himself...

    All of a sudden, he let all his defenses down and trustfully opened up to me.
At the same moment, I was able to read him like an open book.
He showed me his pain, sadness, and loneliness; but also a deep longing to belong to somebody who accepted him for who he was...
He still had a couple of fears, after all the rejections and humiliations he had gone through during the past two years.
Would I really accept him as he was, now that I was able to see his damaged face?
Could he really trust me? Or, would I soon be too disgusted and turn him down...

    Again, I sent him all the love I could muster, inwardly letting him know he could trust me and that I really wanted to be his friend.
Then, I felt him opening his heart and accepting my love.
Yes! He trusted me and wanted to be my friend too!
Slowly and gently, I folded my arms around his body and pulled him into a hug.
He didn't resist, but started to smile from ear to ear, while his now beaming face almost lit up the room.
He took the last step towards me, turned around, leaned backwards into me, and heaved a deep sigh of content.

    Suddenly, I had the most intense feelings of tender loving care that I had ever experienced.
My powerful emotions exploded in my soul and almost overwhelmed me.
My heart jumped around in my chest, and my body started to tingle with pure joy.
Meeting this little boy, was the final fulfillment of everything I had been waiting for my whole life.
Everything fell into place, as if I had reached my final destination and was ready to go on...

    I put my arms around his lithe body and cradled him, marveling in the intense feelings of pure love that made my heart almost cry with joy.

    My heart was sure that he and I had known each other for ages, and we had been together many, many times before.
This time, we had been waiting for each other for a very long time, until we finally would meet again, to perform our tasks on earth...
Inwardly, I was sure this boy had also been my own little son, from one of our past lives when we were trappers and John was our best friend.
At the same time, my poor confused mind went on doubting and questioning.

    Little Harry seemed to have the same intense feelings of recognition, because he sighed again and tried to melt into me even deeper.
Vague memories showed up in my mind, of us sitting together around a crackling fire, having lots of fun and telling each other silly stories.
The swirling wind howled around our log cabin; and, from a far distance, we faintly heard the growling sounds of hungry grizzly bears.
Our best trapper friend joined us around the fire; drinking home-brewed coffee and contributing to the storytelling.
He had John's eyes...

    Was this for real?
Did I really remember one of our past lives?
Or, was this my own wishful thinking; my mind desperately trying to explain my strange feelings...
I shook my head to dispel the disturbing cobwebs, and forced my thoughts to return to the present.

    Still overflowing with pure love for this so very special child, I bent over and tenderly kissed little Harry's forehead.
That was what I always used to do with my little brother and my daughters.
Kissing them had always been my strongest means of expressing my love for them.
Although I had never seen this little boy before, I was absolutely sure I loved him with all my heart and soul!  
He felt as if he really was my dear son.

    Little Harry turned around to face me, and put his small arms around my neck.
Then, he kissed me onto my mouth, forcefully pushing his own lips against mine.
Two wrinkled small lips found mine and pressed against them; eagerly, as if he tried to send me a message...

    Heaven knows I couldn't help it, and I certainly hadn't planned it!
Suddenly, I held my breath, and I felt shocked into my deepest core.
Instinctively, my body froze, while my lips tried to pull back from the unexpected and unwanted contact.
Never before had any stranger ever kissed me onto my mouth like this!

    To me, with my puritanical upbringing, kissing on the lips was almost a sin when it wasn't your own flesh and blood that did it.
My parents never kissed me; and I did kiss my little brother, but solely on his forehead and certainly nowhere else.
Even my own daughters never kissed me on my lips, not even accidentally.
Only my own wife had been allowed to kiss me like this, during our marriage!
Now, suddenly, a little boy kissed me as if we were bride and groom...

    I felt very uneasy with this awkward situation; and didn't know what to do, still feeling very aware of those small but warm lips, eagerly pressing against mine.
Should I push him away, and try to explain why I didn't want him to kiss me like this?
However, I also didn't want my new friend to feel rejected at our first meeting.
Maybe, he would stop his kiss after a few seconds, all by himself...
I decided to do nothing, and waited.

    After what felt like an eternity, little Harry slowly withdrew his lips from mine.
His small arms left my neck; and he let himself slump down like a rag doll.
His lithe body slipped through my arms, until it bumped onto the floor.
Sitting down, he heaved a couple of heartbreaking sighs and started to cry.

    I was very surprised, and didn't understand why he suddenly cried.
Had he expected me to kiss him back, and was he now disappointed?
Nah, that couldn't be the reason for his crying.
I HAD already kissed him!
Besides, why would a little boy expect a grown-up to kiss him twice?
That wasn't normal for a child...

    Of course, his emotions and feelings of recognition had been too much for him!
Little Harry clearly had been too emotional for his own good; and now he needed some time to be able to regain his composure.
With this in mind, I decided to let him have some more space, as I always did with my little clients when they became too emotional.
He surely would feel more at ease when he could see his brother and his friends...

    I bent over towards my sobbing little friend, lifted him off the floor, and took him into my arms.
Carefully, I carried the little rag doll towards the table.
I took an empty folding chair, sat down, and took the again sobbing boy onto my lap.
Then, I decided it would be better for him to see John and his friends.
Helpfully, I turned little Harry around, to let him face his bigger brother...

    At the same moment, he started to fight and scream:


    He almost overturned our folding chair, in his sudden hurry to get away.

    He struggled with all of his might, desperately trying to escape my arms.
Sliding off my lap, he fell onto the floor, but immediately scrambled upright.
Still crying, he stumbled to the door, blindly, almost tripping over his own feet.
He threw himself into the hallway, where we heard him bolting out of the front door.
He ran out of the house and disappeared into the backyards without looking back, leaving all doors wide open.

    For heaven's sake, what had happened?
What was little Harry's problem?
Or, had I done something wrong?
Only, I didn't know what...

    I looked at John, but he seemed to be as bewildered as the others were.
I thought about going after him, but soon decided that would be of no use.
Besides, what would my neighbors think of me, chasing a crying little boy across the street?
I didn't want to be arrested as a potential child molester!

    "Shall I go after him and try to get him back?" John asked me, with doubt in his eyes.

    "Well, I don't know. Do you have any idea why he cried? What happened? Why did he scream and run away, all of a sudden?"

    "I have no idea... But, come on, let's go ask him!" John told the other kids.

    They all left their chairs and hasted outside, to look for their crying little friend.
John helpfully closed my front door, before joining the others in the backyard where little Harry had disappeared.


    All at once, my kitchen was empty again.
The sudden silence felt eerie, and I hadn't the faintest idea what could have happened.
Why did my new little friend scream and run away, all of a sudden?
For heaven's sake, what could have gone wrong?

    Had I misread little Harry?
Or, had I done something stupid, without knowing what it was?
What made him slump down onto the floor and cry, just like that?
Why did he scream and run away, after I took him to the table and sat him on my lap?
I still didn't have the faintest idea...

    Feeling numb, I poured the milk from the saucepan into the sink, and put the empty glasses away.
Then, I got myself a cup of very strong coffee, to clear my mind.
Next, I decided to do what I always did when I encountered a too difficult problem.
Closing my eyes, I tried to recall in my mind what had happened.
Maybe, replaying the events, and looking at my actions, would offer me some hint...

    I recalled the six children, huddling together in front of my house.
Five of them looked at me expectantly; but the sixth one shyly hid behind the others.
Obviously, little Harry still didn’t want to show me his burnt face, although John should have told him about my own little brother...
Then, I invited the children in, and entered my house without looking back.
I thought it would help them to feel less wary about visiting this stranger.
When they were free to enter my house voluntarily, they would also be free to leave it voluntarily...

    The idea seemed to work; because all the children followed me towards my kitchen without any hesitation, even little Harry.
Now, I recalled John and Thomas, already sitting at the kitchen table; while Mark and Chrissie joined them, waiting for their drinks.
Marrie had her arms around a hesitating little boy and tried to push him towards me, telling him to say hello.

    For a moment, little Harry hesitated.
Then, he straightened his back and lifted his head, looking directly into my soul and effortlessly reading my deepest thoughts!

    Rarely had I met a child that had been able to do this; but never with the same ease and this effortlessly, entering my soul and reading me like an open book.
The only person who ever did the same thing, had been an old Indian shaman.
He read my soul, talked to my Ancestors, and told me I possessed many abilities...
Only, I had to wait until my soul would be ready and my own powerful spirit guides taught me how to open up.
At that time, I didn't really believe him...

    I recalled how I looked into little Harry's beautiful bright blue eyes, and felt very surprised when I saw the enormous amount of Inner Power this small boy possessed.
He also had a strong aura of nobility, and he felt like sort of a little Prince...
Could this little Gypsy boy be a forthcoming shaman?

    Now, I recalled how his terribly burnt face looked.
A couple of reddish patches scarred and deformed his small forehead and cheeks.
His nose was halfway gone, and his too big nostrils looked like black holes.
The left side of his mouth was askew, and his lips were shriveled and wrinkled.
His right ear stuck to his head, and the remainder of his skin was stained in at least three different colors.
Little Harry WAS a freaky sight; at least, to everybody who wasn't used to having a child with a burnt face around.
Despite all this, he still maintained a very strong aura of Inner Power, and his spirit seemed to be unbroken.
He certainly was an amazing child!

    I recalled how I felt an intense surge of love and compassion for this so unfortunate little boy.
Without thinking, I opened my arms and invited him for a hug.
For a moment, he looked shocked and just stared at me, reading my intentions.
Did I really accept him? Was I sincere? Could he trust me?
Then, he straightened his shoulders, left Marrie, and stepped towards me.
I pulled him into a hug, and he let himself go and melted into me completely...

    After a moment, I kissed his forehead, almost without thinking; as I always used to do with my own little brother and with my daughters, to express my love for them.
Shouldn't I have done that?
Wasn’t he used to being kissed by a stranger; or, maybe, nobody ever kissed him?
That would be very sad.
However, little Harry turned around, put his arms around my neck, and kissed me back!
Two small wrinkled lips pressed against mine, eagerly and forcefully.

    I felt very shocked, and decided to do nothing...

    After a few seconds, little Harry withdrew his lips from mine and slumped down onto the floor.
He heaved a couple of disappointed sighs, and started to cry.
For heaven's sake, why did he cry?

    At that moment, I presumed his emotions had been too much for him.
I lifted him off the floor, and took him to the table to join his friends.
I sat him onto my lap; and helpfully turned him around, so that he would be able to face his brother.
Suddenly, he screamed, fought himself free, and bolted out of the house!
What had I done wrong?

    Little Harry started to scream after I turned him around on my lap.
Could the turning around have been a problem?
Could it be that he didn't WANT to be turned around to face the others?
This could be something important I had been totally overlooking!
The turning around hadn't been HIS decision, but MINE!
I didn't ask him what HE wanted, but ASSUMED he wanted to face the others...

    I was severely shocked about my obvious lack of consideration.
How could I overlook such an important thing?
Did I ever think I was a good therapist?

    I rose from my chair and got myself another cup of coffee.
Next, I took my coffee to the porch and sat down, hoping to see any of the children.
However, the street still looked very empty.
Where was everybody?
Where could my little friend be now?
Would I ever see him again?
Or, would he be too disappointed about my lack of consideration, and leave me alone from now on...

    I started to think again, trying to get some more insight into my behavior.
This time, I looked further back, at my relationship with my little brother.
We SEEMED to be peaceful and in harmony with each other, but were we?
What color were Joshie's eyes?
I thought he had brown eyes, like mine; but I wasn't sure.
Did I ever look in his eyes?  Or, did I ever talk with him?
    I did talk TO him, oh yes:

    "Time to go to bed, Josh..." and he went to bed.
    "Don't forget to shower," and he showered.

    But, did I ever talk WITH him; waiting for, and listening to, HIS answers?
I realized I didn't even know Joshie!
As a small boy, I bathed him, I dried him, I tickled him and he laughed, I carried him to his room, I put him between the blankets, and I kissed his forehead.
However, that was all the contact I ever maintained with my little brother.
I was so used to having him around, that I often didn't realize he was there.

    Joshie was always there; silently playing and seemingly being in harmony.
The only time he seemed to need me, was when a thunderstorm raged.
That made him crawl into my bed and sleep next to me for the rest of the night.
However, I couldn't remember ever putting my arm around him; even after he had burnt himself and was totally dependent on others.

    Had I really been that egotistic?
Even after Joshie caught himself on fire, I never asked him what HE wanted.
I had to take him with me whenever I went outside; but was that what HE wished?
I just dragged him with me...
Of course, he couldn't speak any more; but, certainly, his eyes could have told me something.
I just never looked into them.
I was sure that I really loved him as my little brother; but whom did I love?
I didn't even know him!
Why did I never look into his eyes; to see who he really was?

    The sun was setting and the air started to get chilly; so I went inside.
I sat down on my couch, now forcing myself to contemplate on who I REALLY was.
Sixty-five years of wasted life, never really listening to my wife or to my children, always doing what I assumed they wished, but never asking THEM.
Joshie didn't seem to need me.
My parents always were too busy with themselves.
My wife never complained, even after the divorce.
My daughters went their own ways...

    Suddenly, another little boy enters my life and seems to need me; and, again, I am making the same mistakes.
Again, I am ASSUMING what he wants, without asking him.
Again, I am NOT asking HIM what HE wishes.
Again, I am NOT listening to what HE has to tell me.
I am such a selfish egotist...
I will have to change my behavior drastically, before I will be worthy to befriend such a small and vulnerable child.
And, I will have to start right NOW!

    Slowly, I started to feel very tired.
After a moment, I laid down on my couch and closed my eyes, drifting off until I was barely aware of my surroundings.
Everything around me started to feel peaceful, as if part of me entered heaven.
A bright light started to surround me, seemingly shining everywhere.
I felt myself overflowing with pure love, tenderness, and compassion.
Had I died, and reached heaven?

    I looked up; and saw Jack, looking at me with love and understanding in his eyes.
He really looked like a grown-up version of my little brother, Joshie.
Again, I thought John could have been his own son, having the same brown eyes and curly hair.
    Jack's voice told me, sounding warm and peaceful in my head:

    "Do you understand now?"

    I nodded, while tears of frustration started to stream down my face.
Again, I felt totally overwhelmed by so much love, so much compassion...
    Jack engulfed me with powerful waves of Pure Love, while he told me:

    "You and your boy NEED each other. Don't be afraid. You didn't make a mistake, and he will come back. Just listen to your heart, and love him."

    His voice drifted off; while I woke up on my couch, crying my heart out.


Again, you overwhelmed me with all your wonderful emails. Thank you very much!
I will still try to answer them all; unless I am getting too many of them.
Here are a few (maybe slightly abbreviated) excerpts:

hi  just had to write and tell you how much i enjoyed your story about the little burned boy  i just finished part 2 and am sitting her blubbering like a little baby  great story

Hello Harry, Just finished your story as far as it goes Have really enjoyed reading about Little Harry and his friends. I hope that children are allowed by their parents to read this story - it has so much to offer and is a clean story as well. Anticipating reading more about the Harry's.

Harry, I am loving your story. It has so much to teach us about loving one another and that it is what is inside that counts. This is one of the truly great ones.

I have finely found the best story I have ever read . I keep looking for little Harry, but havert been able to find it, I just ran across born to be king and I am so glad I did I really love this story And I have not stayed up till 2 Am again reading

Thanks so much! Again just want to tell you I have read your different Angles to the story I still love it One of the best I have ever read  keep it comeing

Hi harry... This is a great story with a wonderful start. I hope you develop each of the young people so we can "dream along with them as they grow up. I can only guess at the time it takes to put each chapter together, but please keep them coming so we can follow without great delays.

Now, I am blushing too much...

Do you enjoy my story? Then, please, send me an email!

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