The Hands of Time.
This is a heart-warming family story of love and tragedy, and of how a young boy copes with traumatic experiences within his life and turns them to an advantage. From the devastating murder of his parents to an attempted murder upon him, and accidental surgical negligence which almost destroys him. Even then as fate rips away at his soul, he fights the deep depression and rebuilds time and again, to grow into a multi-millionaire, and who eventually has a family of his own.
Life continues and travelling gypsies set their eyes upon him and blame him for the death of their loved ones…, even though he was genuinely innocent and set out to utterly destroy him and his family. After the death of his son and destruction of his business…, his wife and him are on the point of giving in…, yet it is their love for their family and faith as Mormons that keep them together and tells of their struggle for justice and unity and forgiveness. A truly heart-warming story yet so real to life, in volumes Book one and book Two.
I lifted my hands and reached forward to take hold of the package before me, it had been wrapped in bright red gloss paper with racing cars printed onto it and fastened by tape and a bright yellow ribbon. “Thank you, mama,”, I said…, and as I sat down on the carpet, I crossed my legs and looked at the package.
Shaking it, yes…, I remember now, it was such a long time ago, and I smiled, and thought quietly to myself, “well no noise, and it felt soft and a little spongy, arhah, I know…, another jumper like I had last year” I thought. Carefully undoing the bow, I tried to slip my fingers under the paper to lift the tape from the wrapping, it was just so nice looking that I thought I could use it to cover some of my school books, Oh my, it was such a long time past.
My name is Sparrow Smith, I know Sparrow is such an unusual name, I was born with the name of Chris, but I was small, so very small, and then everyone kept calling me, a little Sparrow; and then I guess, it just kind of stuck. I am writing my memoirs, basically trying to chronicle my life history, so my family will remember me, and as it kind of…, well let’s just say, It was a one hell of a ride…, and to have got to where I am today; so this is my story…, and I shall try to explain it from here.
OK back to that birthday gift, once the tape was free, I unfolded the paper and took extra care not to tare even a single piece of this beautiful wrapping, and I grinned, and looked up to see my mother and father, they were quietly watching me, and they had long since become use to my idiosyncratic behaviour, and I guess they had learnt it was better to indulge me knowing it was by far better and more desirable than some of their friends children, and who ran rampant and out of control.
I was aged nine years on that day, and in simple truth, I was not anything special by educational standards, other than I have been told, then been a little savant, in the area of lateral thinking, and for solving incredibly intricate puzzles. Other than that, I was a quiet and loveable child, and I loved watching sports, especially formula one racing, and also anything else to do with cars, cowboys and football. I also had a passion for horses, old cowboy movies, and my father’s beautiful old vintage Wolsey, oh how I miss that car, it holds even now so many precious memories.
Quietly removing the paper and carefully putting it aside, I saw there was yet another layer of waxed wrapping covering my gift, carefully lifting aside the folds, I took hold of a strange looking piece of terry towelling material, and then I smiled, in having recognised it, in been my old dressing gown which was by then, some three sizes too small for me.
With a huge grin on my face, as I had realized that it had been a decoy, and to hide or protect another item beneath it. As I unfolded the layers of the gown, there before me laid the gift from my mother and father. “A proto type iPad 7, as my father had been a designer, in a department of Apple computers. “It’s just what I wanted”, I had cried out, and in shocked excitement, and without even opening it, I lifted it and placed it carefully onto one of the soft armchairs, and rose to my feet, and went over to mum first, and gave her a huge hug, and then repeated the same thing with my father.
“Can you help me set it up dad please, and how did you know that I wanted one of these?” I had asked, my father laughed, and then spoke, “That was easy Sparrow, ever since your friend Adrian, got an iPad 4, you have constantly been telling us how wonderful it is, and how it can do every possible thing, which a person could ever want in a computer.”
My mother watched the interaction between us two men in her life. She later told me, from reading her journal, she was thinking how wonderful it was to have such good fortune smile upon her, as her parents had struggled to make ends meet and had sacrificed so much, and to ensure that she had not gone without.
Having won a scholarship, mum went to the Bangor University, and it was there that she met her husband to be, John Winston Michael Armstrong. It had been love at first sight and she knew instantly by some deep primal connection, from within her heart, that he was her companion, even from their first estate long before either of them had been born into life on this small planet spinning around our sun, and in the vastness of the heavens around us.
John my dad, had worked hard in his life, and after earning an honours in computer science, software design, mathematics, and other subjects, he was offered a job within Apple computers, and had worked his way through the company, and ending up as Steve Jobs right hand man and long life friend.
The iPad that he had given to me, his son, was in fact a prototype model, exactly the same as the one that he had in his own home office, he had been involved in its design along with the software which he personally wrote some years previous.
I opened the box, and my eyes were wide with excitement, that day all of my other gifts, as good and functional as they were, had almost past me by, as my mind was already planning all the various research and projects that I knew I simply must do, and if time allowed it, I would even play my favourite Sims game. Yes I knew it was old and no longer as fashionable as the many new war type, or car racing, or even the adventure games which were then in such fashion.
In my innocent eyes, it was a waste of time to spend hours upon hours fighting strange demonic type monsters, or pretend that I was a soldier of fortune, who was fighting to save yet another day. No I preferred even then, to push my mind to its limit, and see if I could design my own puzzles. “Can we set it up now dad please,” I remember saying, “as I want to see if I can send Adrian an email and let him know that I now have my own, also we have been working on a school science project, to see if we can build our own radio controlled car.” I was just so excited.
I was tired, age had finally caught up with me, and I needed to rest, my son came to my side, he could see I wanted to read onwards from my journal, so he lifted the book, from my hands and read out allowed for me.
My father smiled, he had read the letter from the school, and had signed it giving his authorization, to allow the school to take me…, his son along with his class mates to a motor museum and the science museum in London. “What are you and Adrian building?” enquired my father, and a broad smile lit up my face, my father already had some kind of idea, and that it would be a something to do with a car. “I have been looking through the science magazines that you brought for me. In one of them it tells you how to build your own circuit board and what component would be needed if you were to build your own remote-control unit.” He paused only briefly to draw in and breathe, and then continued talking. “Simon our science teacher said he would give extra points if the control units were hand built and not purchased off the shelf.” Breathing in again he continued in excitement, also we must write in our own words how we set about building it, and to demonstrate why we chose this particular equipment above another.”
His father could see the sheer joy in his son’s eyes, incredibly he was not very good at sports, his writing was only average for his age, and his other school subjects were proving difficult for him. So much so, that along with his wife Susan, they had talked it through, and decided to secure an out of school teacher, to befriend him and to help him try to catch up.
Sparrow then told them, “We have been doing various jobs, and washing our friend’s parent’s cars, to earn enough money so we could buy extra mechanical and electrical Kits, they have one particular kit that allows you to build a variety of functional cars. We thought we might be able to adapt one of them to incorporate some of the new electric motor designed by Moller Electronics.”
He was almost talking faster than he could breathe, his Asthma was always a problem, and ever since a baby he had suffered, and had even been hospitalised on three occasions. So, his father had tried to teach him how to not become excited, and to always carry his inhalers with him.
“What is this Moller engine that you have referred to, I have not seen this one?” Sparrow was already using the iPad and sitting at the dining room table, quickly he typed in the internet address: http://www.moller.com/. The engine is a special miniature modeller’s version, of the very same engine as doctor Moller uses, in his prototype Sky-car, replied Sparrow.
John looked at the site and read through the web pages about Doctor Moller, and he knew his son was very advanced for his age in science, mathematics, and lateral thinking, however even he, was himself unsure if his son could actually build this model, which he now thought might be in his sons mind.
“Tell me Sparrow, would you by some chance be trying to build your own version of Doctor Moller’s Sky-car?” Sparrow looked at his dad, he had a huge grin on his face, Ahr dad I had wanted it to be a surprise, but yes we can build a working model, we have been working on this since last year’s science projects,” as he was talking he was typing in an internet address, and he brought up a YouTube video of Adrian and him working in Adrian’s fathers workshop, and building a basic scaled down functional prototype flying car of their own.
“We cannibalised lots of different bits from Adrian’s model Radio Controlled Aircrafts and Helicopters. We have built four functionally side motors from some of my old electric Radio-Controlled Aircrafts and used various sections of the Helicopters sub frames. And have even partly flown the prototype, however as you can see from the video, we have kept it as for our eyes only and not released it to the public yet, in case someone tries to copy our work.”
Again, Sparrow had to pause so he could breathe, and then calmed himself enough and then continued talking. “But as you can see the motors are not powerful enough to functionally fly the car how we want to.”
John watched the video in amazement; and he could see the various parts working and the mismatch bits driving along the garden path. And although it very much looked like some kind of part Mecano part Helicopter and even part Aircraft. It actually lifted from the tarmac, and hovered about three feet off the ground, but it could not at that stage then travel forwards, or in any other direction, other than up or down.
Sparrow excitedly pointed to the various functioning parts and tried to explain what was wrong and why their Sky-car would not actually fly as wanted.
“We need seven of these Moller motors dad, one for each corner, and three to give us thrust, we have used some parts from four harrier model aircrafts, and I know if I can fit the engine into the thrust rotary motors casings, then we will be able to use the Radio controlled equipment to make the thrusts motors rotate to give us lift and then to be used for forward and reverse directional control.”
John, listened as his nine year old son proudly explained to him about an actual working functional prototype model craft that many fully grown men would not even know where to begin; and in truth if he had not seen the video and known his sons abilities, then he knew that even he would question if the video was genuine and that such a project could be built by two children of such a young age.
“Tell me Sparrow, how much do you need before you can actually build your Sky-car, including all the components for the Radio Control unit?” Sparrow quickly slid off his chair and went into his bedroom, and then within two minutes he was once again sitting next to his father, he had brought with him a folder which he had used to hold all his paper work and drawings, along with pamphlets including a detailed breakdown of costing and reachable goals, which he used as a method of breaking the project into functional and reachable sections, without making it look like some impossible monster for the mind to grapple around with.
“Up until last week we have raised One Thousand seven hundred and six pounds and fifty-five pence, the total costing including postage is Two Thousand, nine hundred and ninety-eight pounds, so as you can see, we are almost there.”
He looked up to his father feeling really proud that he and his best friend had managed to raise so much, John thought for a while and then reaching forward he ask Sparrow if he could have a look at the quoting and the research. “May I take these from you and make my own copy please son, I have an idea and I think I might just be able to resolve your funding problem.”
Sparrow could see in his father’s eyes, and that he really genuinely wanted to help him, so he freely passed over his documents to his father. “You can keep those if you want dad, I made a copy using our schools’ computers and had them printed out, it is at Adrian’s house, but I know his dad will not mind if Adrian wants to take a photo copy for me. His dad is all behind his son doing this project with me and was going to contact you when he returns home from his business trip to Hong Kong.”
That night when Sparrow had gone to bed, John got together with Susan his wife, and they talked about how they could help their son reach his goals in not only building the project with his friend, but in also entering it in the science project and then giving a demonstration and explaining how they set about building the Radio Controlled unit, and as to why they chose those parts over other ones on the market.
“I have an idea, I know our publicity section at work, has been looking into securing better exposure and to advertise our products in return for some funding been made available. I am not sure if Sparrow and Adrian would qualify because of their age, however I have a feeling we could actually turn that to our advantage, as I know he has been using an iMac at his school to design his projects in the past, and now we have given him his very own iPad, I know that this one will be displayed on it, and that he will use it for designing the casing extensions and any other parts which he might be needing.”
Susan reached across and took hold of her hot chocolate, and took a sip, before she spoke. “There are times that I worry about him, he is so clever and full of outstanding confidence, with such a project, incredibly, and they do not even scare him. But when it comes to everyday subjects in school, he just does not seem to be able to grasp hold of his subjects, and he loses all confidence in himself, it’s almost as if he is a different person.”
John took hold of her hand and lifted it to his lips, “Do you remember when he was born, the doctors said he had been starved of oxygen, and that the cord had wrapped around his throat, and was cutting off some of his air supply during the delivery, well we thought then that we might have lost our son.” He stopped talking and waited while his wife thought over his words.
“Yes,” said Susan, “We prayed that he would recover and that we would love him no matter what, oh my, how time has gone by so quickly, and later Doctor Edwards told us that he felt Sparrow was a very special child, A Gift from Father God, was his words. “You have a very special child there Susan”, he said to me. “Now you take real good care of him, as one day he is going to become someone very important, and that he would need all the love and support that we could give to him during these coming years”.
They both sat quietly for a while reflecting in their minds what the doctors had told them, that various test had shown, that young Sparrow was just a very little challenged in his ability to grasp hold of certain things, yet they felt that the brain would make up for its loss in part of its functions.
They had no real idea then all those years past, just how accurate they really were. In Mathematics and some other related subjects, Sparrow was already ready to enter into any university, as his abilities far outstretched even then many of the applicants wanting to secure a place in a university.
However, in most other subjects he was behind, not by much but certainly down at least two if not three class levels for a student of his age. His eyes were also not really that good, he could see but only when he wore a strong prescription lens, and as long as he had his glasses then he would be able to manage perfectly adequately, but without them he could only see a blurred picture before him. “Do you truly feel that work will want to help the children?” enquired the wife. “Yes without question, just think about it for a while, it’s amazing publicity, both of the children have been using Apple products, their project was designed on an iMac and both now have iPad’s and the ability of these tablet computers is ideal as it’s so portable and can go with them into their workshop and even be taken onto the field for test runs. And I know the software is more than able to handle anything that they would throw at it, as I designed it and it’s up to running a fully functional corporation,” he replied.
Susan drank her hot chocolate and then put down her mug, and then reaching her arm across to John she said, “Come on my love; let’s get ourselves an early night.” They both got up off the sofa and made their way up the stairs and entered their bedroom for the night.