We bought Reagan a simple video camera soon after he became ill. He was homebound at the time and unable to walk. He was such a frail 11-year-old that I carried him around the house. I remember his siblings pulling him on a blanket along the kitchen floor so he could film a “moving shot.”
Reagan’s camera went with him to hospitals and rehab units. He documented his visitors and his progress.
He spent hours learning the art of editing. He was alone with his spinning brain and found solace in his moviemaking. Unless the vertigo overtook him. His imagination, however, never faltered.
Neither did his dream of becoming a filmmaker.
Fast-forward 33 months, to the summer of 2010.
Reagan is 14 years old. He's taller than me and can now carry me. His head is no longer spinning. The ringing in his left ear is negligible. He missed virtually all of middle school and yet passed the 8th grade standardized testing for the state of Arizona.
His tragedy is slowly turning to triumph.
Video making is a daily part of his life now. He even has his own channel. This weekend he created a time-lapse video. Time lapse is a filmmaking technique that utilizes film frames to accelerate a naturally slow process. According to Wikipedia, “Processes that would normally appear subtle to the human eye . . . become very pronounced.”
The changes in Reagan over these months and years have been subtle. Too subtle at times. I have lost heart more than once.
I watched Reagan's video on Saturday night and wept. His progress was suddenly so pronounced.
I'm learning. The only way to live is one film frame at a time.
(One of Reagan's scars is the loss of hearing in his left ear. You'll see how he wears his headphones in this video.)