I found a two-legged frog in the creek, as a boy. That was a good day. No. It was a great day. It’s not every day you find a frog with only one set of legs.

Before I tell you about Ben, he asked for me to tell you the story about a two-legged frog first. Ben is a young man who rides a wheelchair. He likes chocolate, football, girls, and frogs.

So the frog story:

I found a two-legged frog in the creek, as a boy. That was a good day. No. It was a great day. It’s not every day you find a frog with only one set of legs.

I saw the frog leaping on a bank of clay. I chased him. He didn’t run. He wasn’t afraid. I named him Otis.

I put Otis in a shoebox lined with grass and brought him to my father.

Daddy held the frog up to the light. Otis didn’t try to leap out of his hands. He placed Otis on his workbench. Otis sat, blinking.

“You can’t keep Otis in a shoebox,” Daddy said. “It’d be a crime against nature.”


“Because, Otis is what you call a genuine miracle.”

Otis didn’t look like a genuine miracle to me. He couldn’t jump very high. Instead, he’d slide forward, using his back legs to push himself.

Because of this, I reasoned that we should definitely let Otis sleepover, to further reflect on how he could be my pet forever.

“No,” said Daddy. “Better let him go, so more people can see a genuine miracle. That’s why he was made.”

I wasn’t crazy about this idea, but we let him go anyway. Otis jumped through the grass toward parts unknown. I thought that would be the last anyone ever saw of Miraculous Otis. But it wasn’t.

My friend Billy found Otis in the same creek once. So did my friend Jessie, Tony, Ricky, and Allen. Otis became genuinely famous among the fourth grade.

Anyway, now I’ll tell you a little about Ben.

When I first met him, he was riding an electric wheelchair toward me, his father followed close behind.

The boy had a feeding tube running from his nose. He wore thick glasses, and a Spongebob Squarepants hat to cover the scars on his head. I met him backstage at a small theater where I told a few stories.

“I liked your frog story,” were Ben’s first words to me. “I think I’m kinda like that frog, you know? I’m weird, but sorta cool.”

Ben is not weird. He is all cool.

He wasn’t supposed to survive his first week of life. But he did. Then, doctors prepared his parents for the possibility that he might not survive his first year.

He did.

Medical professionals told Ben’s father he would probably die before age three from complications. They said it would happen suddenly, like a “domino effect” of organ failures. It never happened.

Ben’s father said, “One day, we just kinda quit being afraid.”

Ben is almost fifteen. He’s seen it all. Grand Canyon, Disney, the Everglades, Acadia, Yellowstone, Austin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the Rockies, the Keys, the Appalachians.

His father has carted his son to every mark on the American map.

Ben’s father went on, “You know how average people might have one or two days per month worth remembering? Well, not us. Ben makes EVERY day worth remembering.”

Ben wheels close to me. We shake hands like grown men. He’s old for his age.

“I like your frog story,” said Ben. “I’m gonna tell that story to my friends tomorrow.”

The frog story is a mediocre story at best. But if you want to hear a really good story, you ought to hear the one about the angel in the wheelchair I just met.

That kid is a genuine miracle.


  1. Regina Peavy - February 28, 2018 7:44 am


  2. Pat K - February 28, 2018 8:09 am

    I so enjoy your stories! They give us a look into people’s lives and feelings. You make life’s events magical. Thanks!?

  3. John - February 28, 2018 8:28 am

    If Ben ever wants to clown in a parade in the Seattle area, let me know..

  4. Susan Hammett Poole - February 28, 2018 10:04 am

    Love this miracle story? ? ? ? ? ? ? God continue to bless Ben & his family 🙂

  5. Pan - February 28, 2018 11:39 am

    Thank you for a great reason to be alive ❤️

  6. Marty from Alabama - February 28, 2018 12:02 pm

    How many lives has Ben impacted? More than we will ever know. Thank you for Ben’s story and the frog story. How blessed we are to have them in our memory bank. Let us use them as guides to how we should live.

  7. Sue Cronkite - February 28, 2018 2:38 pm

    I have a cousin whose daughter with cystic fibrosis was expected to live to 10 years old. She’s 19 and going to college. It wasn’t easy. Her parents kept her alive through pure grit.

  8. Kathy - February 28, 2018 2:41 pm

    Sean, you meet the most wonderful people! ❤️?

  9. Phyllis Hamilton - February 28, 2018 3:13 pm

    I believe in miracles and I must say that was a wonderful one. I believe we all have a purpose. Ben is an obvious miracle and wonderful miracle. If we look around God gives us all miracles everyday.

  10. Ted Hinson - February 28, 2018 3:38 pm

    What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Janet Mary Lee - February 28, 2018 4:48 pm

    I’m not sure you have ever told a mediocre story! Your perception and depth to tell ordinary stories yet see the love and miracle of them is the reason I read every morning. It seems both you and Ben have a touch of the miraculous in you.
    I had the honor of meeting and listening to you in Montgomery last night, and it is a memory I will always appreciate so much! I meant to tell you to thank Jamie for sharing you with us! You have a wonderful gift and I am so glad you are true to it!

  12. Bob Hubbard - February 28, 2018 7:05 pm

    Angels unawares…….how frequently they appear

  13. Pamela McEachern - February 28, 2018 7:55 pm

    But for the Grace of God go I, there are so many amazing people that bear challenges most of us will never know. I am in awe of their strenght and joy. Prayers for them all.

    Peace and Love from Birmingham

  14. Lisa - March 1, 2018 1:27 am

    If I were ever to get a tattoo, it would say, “Live like Ben.”

  15. Ellen Shelley - March 3, 2018 7:31 am

    Ben is amazing. Parents of angels like Ben are so heroic to me. But they don’t see it that way. They see the blessing of the life they are privileged to share and they show them the world. It can’t be easy, but they make it look that way. I am humbled. Thank you, again. Simple story, just a love story.

  16. Lee Desmond - May 7, 2022 2:48 am

    Love the frog story and the Ben story. Thanks, Sean. 🙂


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