he ain’t heavy

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On December 28th, The Winnipeg Free Press showcased its best pictures of 2012. This photo was taken by photojournalist Ruth Bonneville. She tells the story behind the picture,

He ain’t heavy…he’s my brother Griffin, 13, has been carrying his brother Tyler, who has cerebral palsy, ever since he can remember. In between school activities and playing hockey seven times a week, Griffin makes time to shovel Tyler’s wheelchair ramp, get him dressed in the morning, help prepare his breakfast and medications. On some occasions, he pulls him to school on a sled. This day I caught Griffin lifting him out of his car seat and briskly carrying him across the schoolyard so he could spend some time with him on the play structure before heading to class. When asked if he ever wished he didn’t have to do all this stuff for Tyler, Griffin’s eyes well up as he quickly replies, “No, I don’t, he’s my brother and I love him very much. I will do this for him any day. There is no other way to describe it.” I chose this image as my favourite photograph of the year because to me it’s a picture of pure love in action. – Ruth Bonneville

My Mama saved the newspaper clipping for me, and it now hangs on our fridge as a daily boost of inspiration.

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Yesterday, my daughter sent me this link to the Sports Illustrated Sportskids of the Year: Conner and Cayden Long. Nine year old Conner wanted to spend more time with his six year old brother, Cayden who has cerebral palsy. So, Conner decided to participate in triathlon competitions with Cayden. Together, they make up Team Long! Please take a few minutes to watch this video. The deep and profound wisdom and love that pours forth from Conner will leave you speechless.

A picture of pure love in action? You bet! Too often in my daily reading and watching of the news, I’m left feeling drained and sucked of all energy. Where is the compassion? Where is the basic human desire to reach out and give each other a hand? These young boys are proof that true goodness can and does exist. Their love gives us all hope.

(If, like me, you can’t read these stories without the song…. He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother by the Hollies)