This Christmas Eve, fresh off watching a version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ (the Muppets version for nostalgia’s sake) I’ve pondered what continuing the story of Tiny Tim Cratchit would look like. After all, as Charles Dickens exclaimed, ‘Tiny Tim, who did not die!’
During his time, sickness was rampant in England and across the world. Our medical developments of a vaccine just were not there. I ask myself, how would Tiny Tim Cratchit stay upbeat as he battled his illnesses and saw sickness in others as he grew up?
I always hoped that ‘Tiny Tim’ would stay upbeat, as spirited and as smiling as ever before. I always hoped nothing could hurt his precious soul that Scrooge came to love so much. Yet, if I were to write his continued story, I do believe the reality would be he persevered through hard times. As a child, he didn’t seem to care about his sickness, he just wanted to have an amazing time and share his love. It’s easy for people to get depressed about their condition around this time, and I often wonder if Tiny Tim as he got older ever soured or worse, got addicted to something. Growing up, he probably would become cognizant of his differences, and I would write that he would find the positives of the day amidst a world that likes to drench us in negativity.
I probably would write his story through my eyes, and he would be a thriving 29 year old, who in the midst of this pandemic, still keeps wits about himself. I think he may be down at times, but never out!
As a kid growing up, my dad would carry me on his shoulders to St. Thomas Church Christmas morning, my crutches flanking both his shoulders as we walked across Park Avenue from E. 44th and then up the spirited 5th Avenue to 53rd and 5th. With his encouragement, after the service , I used to greet everyone in the aisles and wish them Merry Christmas. After church, we’d come home to a beautiful turkey and beautiful set up my mom had made for the whole gift-opening craze of the day.
Would you believe, last year at age 28 , I still wished parishioners a Merry Christmas like I did at age 6? It is a tradition thing but it also felt GOOD. It keeps the adult me in line with the Christmas spirit instilled through the love of my parents and family over the years at Christmastime. I definitely miss church this Christmas season. I also would write that Tiny Tim kept his sentimentality through the years, and I hope you out there have kept sentiments along the way during this very tough time.
When watching the Muppets version this time around, I have come to feel a bit more cynical than I’d like to admit. I’ve had relationships fail, I’ve felt lonely and sometimes have felt that lost feeling. Yet, when I see Tiny Tim’s smile , I am reminded HOPE IS NOT LOST! I would write that Tiny Tim as he got older gave a shot at love and friendship every chance he can! The disability community doesn’t have to hide, and Mr. Scrooge carrying Tiny Tim on his shoulders is a prime example, I would certainly write that Tim Cratchit would not hide himself as he got older!
I’ve also come to grips that the snapping a finger and everything working out mentality doesn’t work always and this Christmas, I realize the gift is that my family snapped the fingers with me to make things work!
That’s not a bad thing this Christmas, however, because I’m thankful to be able to work and keep a job while millions have sadly lost theirs due to COVID. I’m thankful that all three of my parents are here to see Christmas 2020! They have taught me to speak up for myself, to fight for what I deserve and to most importantly put my head down and keep going!
I see a parallel of that same love with the Cratchit Family, which is why I feel so akin to the character. The Christmas lights brighten my spirits just as much as seeing Tiny Tim’s smile and tenacity. Watching his story again, I firmly know hope is not lost, and I would certainly encourage Mr. Dickens that hope is not lost for the adult Tiny Tim Cratchit.
PS: A real-life friend named Carlos ‘Tiny Tim’ is thriving and a couple years ago had a baby with his beloved! So Yes, Mr. Dickens, there are thriving adult ‘Tiny Tim’ figures in this world!