Thursday, May 1, 2014

Superman & What If?

I was always fascinated by Superman. At one point in my life as a young boy I was convinced I could fly from the top of the steps to the second floor of our home to the bottom without ever touching a step. In hindsight I must have dreamed that feat because every time I tried to fly from the top step to the bottom, I failed (for obvious reasons!).

This failure to fly did not stop me from trying to replicate Superman flight with my friends. We would jump off boulders. We would jump off a swing when it reached its highest point of the arc. We were daring enough to jump off a picket fence. We knew we could not fly but our desires had not yet been convinced.

Then came the ultimate challenge, when we dared each other to jump off a second story porch. When you're looking down 7 ft. or so, it took great courage to take the leap of flight. We all had successful jumps the first time around which only emboldened us to reach for further success.

Then there was the double dare to jump off the top rail of the porch banister, the height now looking more like 10 ft. I took the challenging, climbed up onto the rail, looked down and changed my mind. I was not that crazy!

Then the worst possible nightmare happened. I don't know if it was an accidental bump or a purposed push by one of my playmates, but I fell off the porch railing. I hit the ground with my left arm and shattered many bones. I spent weeks in the hospital, with multiple surgeries, and months of therapy to regain use of the mangled arm.

But more than bones were shattered that day.

I emerged from the event as a stutterer which almost destroyed my life. (How I overcame that speech impediment is basis for a future blog.)

The speech difficulty lasted almost 10 years with growing anger for the kids who bumped or pushed me. That anger continued into my adulthood every time I thought of the incident. But one day I asked the question … what if the persons involved came now into my adult life at this very moment and asked for forgiveness? What would I do?

That’s the question I would like to pose to my blog community. What if someone who hurt you deeply in the past came forward after many years and asked you for forgiveness __ what would you do?

I’d like to hear from you. Won’t you share your thoughts?

Click on COMMENT below and drop me a line. Please remember what you write will be open to public view. No names or graphic specifics. Just write about yourself, your struggle and whether or not you would forgive the person(s).

Robert Parlante

May 2014


  1. My attempts to fly were more Mary Poppins-esque, as I jumped off porches holding umbrellas. I tried taking an umbrella outside during a strong wind, but all that happened was a mangled umbrella—no flight.

    I was bullied now and then in school; I can't say I harbor any ill will toward those classmates. One, who called me ugly in front of the class in 5th or 6th grade, I voted for class president in high school! Why? Because when she saw me in the hall she said, "Brenda, I love your everything bag!" It was a giant nerdy purse, and I figured if she was so anxious for my vote that she would not only speak to me but toss me a compliment, then she could have my vote. Now, my best friend from high school (a Christian) still holds a grudge against the classmate who wiped her shoes on the back of my friend's sweater during a pep rally. The classmate is still "wild," and I have a feeling my bf would not want to accept an apology.

    1. This childhood incident was the genesis of my story line in book 1 of Patch Town. What would I do if the kid who pushed me off the porch wrote me a letter and asked to be forgiven/ The consequences of that push (intentional or accidental) produced much misery throughout my youth. When I wrote my novel I took that event, fictionalized it with different characters and settings,.