Letter: A selfless act by Boogie Weinglass
“I cried when I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”
These are the words I will always remember that my mother made me read out loud from a plaque that was hanging in our dentist’s office in the great state of New Jersey. A single mother of three boys, she taught me most everything I know, but at the ripe age of 9 years old, I had no idea what she meant.
Now, as a grown man with a family of his own, it all makes sense to me. I’m a very proud father of two boys, one a special-needs child confined to a wheelchair. His name is Oliver. I have never once felt sorry for him — nor for us, for that matter — because I know of several, actually many children who have more difficult challenges than my son, some of whom have died. Hence my mother’s words of wisdom and advice. Our personal family values are based upon several necessities for our survival: strength, courage and belief.
Strength comes naturally as it is something that is created out of the need for survival. Courage is innate as it surfaces only when needed. Belief, however, is a gift and blessing that is created only by the actions of others that are part of our lives. Although our everyday lives are more challenging than others, I truly believe that my family is blessed. Blessed with our natural surroundings of our valley and equally as beautiful, the people that surround us.
Oliver recently spent three weeks in Children’s Hospital in Denver, recovering from a spinal surgery to correct his curvature from 70 degrees to a little less than 20 degrees. Although we were only supposed to be there for one week, complications arose that forced a longer stay. Because of the success of his surgery, my son instantly grew 4 inches in height, which was a blessing; however, due to this he was no longer able to fit into his wheelchair-accessible van without his head hitting the ceiling. Mr. Leonard “Boogie” Weinglass had heard of this dilemma, and from the kindness of his heart purchased a new van for my son. Having never met me or my family, he has been generous to us in the past and this action has us numb with appreciation for him as well as the contributions he makes to our valley, most of which, or so I have been told, are not greatly publicized.
It’s people like Mr. Weinglass that define the true beauty of our valley, and I will be eternally grateful not only for his compassion and generosity, but for keeping the true definition of “believe” in the hearts of my family. This will last forever. Thank you, sir.
Matt Harrington and family
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