He started to get a reputation early on, thanks to his long eyelashes and toothless grin, and it seemed we were always finding, or being given, shirts with some variation of "Chick Magnet" on them, and it stuck. The red one in his picture was his absolute favorite. It was dubbed his "lucky shirt" after a flock of nurses descended on him in the hospital cafeteria to admire it. After they moved along, Steven gave me his waggly-eyebrow look and declared "It worked!"
After a particularly rough year healthwise, the second neurosurgeon in as many years to save Steven's life and Steven's favorite nurse, Peggy, wanted to help him get his Make-A-Wish dream. Steven heard ideas from all directions, but there was only one wish for him.
"I want to be a bounty hunter."
At that point, Steven had three favorite shows he would watch over and over again. Cops, Mister Rogers, and Dog the Bounty Hunter. (One of these things is not like the others... lol) It gave me psychological whiplash at times... "People can like you JUST the way you are...Can I give you a cigarette? ..FREEZE MOTHERBLEEPER!" *sigh* Never fear, to this day, he censors himself by actually bleeping himself out loud. :)
I wish I had video of his face while he watched, the glazed eyes, the unbridled admiration and random smooching noises. That's how I knew when Beth appeared on screen. Steven loved her with the enthusiasm usually only reserved for the older red-haired girl at school, Whitney. It was the kind of love that left him dazed and giggly, the kind that cartoon eye-spinning and floaty hearts was made of.
They gave him three questions to ponder while choosing his wish:
If you could be anything in the world, what would you be?
If you could do anything in the world, what would you do?
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
His answers, delivered with the look and tone of "Hello Captain Obvious." were:
A bounty hunter.
Be a bounty hunter.
To visit Dog and Beth and be a bounty hunter.
He was hard pressed to come up with a second choice in case it just couldn't happen. He's a man who knows what he wants. We're lucky the people at Make A Wish and A&E were able to work some magic.
We got the call to pack our bags and get ready to go to Hawaii, and Steven was speechless. That's as rare for him as for ME.
The Lucky Shirt had to have a place of honor in the suitcase. It was going on this adventure.
There aren't a lot of photos of the journey from north central ND to Honolulu, mostly because I was pretty busy trying not to have any newsworthy moments navigating four airports when we had not only never FLOWN, but it just happened to be my Big Phobia. Clearly, I survived, but I have quite a few helpful suggestions for the major airlines. Only a few of them are painful and/or physically impossible. (I'll give you three guesses what I'll end up ranting about on here sometime. Smooth, right?) Steven only stopped grinning when he was sound asleep, and even then... happy.
Just a bit of our visit. It was all worth it. :)
Make A wish is an awesome organization. If you get a chance, seek out your nearest chapter and offer to lend a hand.
Tell them a bounty-hunting Chick Magnet sent you.
|Family picture at the bail bonds.|
|The happiest Chick Magnet|
|Steven's luau friend, Kehau.|