The last thing Christian asked me to do with him was play Mario Kart. At the time, neither of us knew that it was our last chance to play together. He beat me every time but it was still fun to play. About a week after he passed away, I bought a WiiU. Christian used a Playstation and Game Cube but wasn’t sure if he would be able to handle the larger controller that came with the Wii. I had an evening by myself and I fired it up. Once I chose my character and started to play, my heart ached. Christian talked about playing on the Wii and how much he knew I would enjoy the graphics for Mario Kart. I felt close to him and my heart ached at the same time because I was not able to share it with him.
Due to the nature of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, my sons were never able to ride a bike without training wheels or join the basketball team. Video games became something they could easily do and enjoy. Andrew plays Destiny on his PS4 often and has gained a group of online friends. In Montana, the winters are long and cold, making it difficult for people with disabilities to leave the house. He is able to socialize with his friends while he plays and has become quite passionate about the game. Christian was able to continue playing until the night before we lost him. His hands just stopped working. I will never forgot the look on his face when he told me he couldn’t hold the controller anymore.
I think we all need to play video games every now and then. I played Mario Kart with Andrew last night and sorely lost, but it was fun and relaxing. It is so easy to say no, I would rather not. We never realize how fast our children grow until it’s too late and we are not cool enough to hang out with them. It becomes more real when your children are diagnosed with a life threatening condition. We can all benefit from putting our seemingly endless list of obligations on the back burner to play a game with our kids.
I wanted to play video games with Christian that last day but his needs were great and we didn’t have any help. I really hope Christian smiles down from heaven as I pick up that controller a few times a week and practice so I can kick Andrew’s tail next time!