Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hop, Skip and a Huge Jump...

Today, I'm going to play a little catch up with you on my story to get MUCH closer to what my life today looks like and what this blog is all about. So, bear with me as we hop, skip and jump through 30 years or so.

Mom and me at the beach
in San Clemente, CA 1970
I grew up in Southern California. We only lived in a few places before my parents settled in Orange County near the beach. My dad had a good job being a firefighter in Los Angeles.

Mom and I did fun things while dad was at the fire station, and sometimes he was there for days on end. Everyday life was mostly just mom and me.

I grew older and had a weight problem; I would struggle with that for many years even through adulthood now. I had a few friends but not very close ones where we always did stuff together. My friends were mostly just while I was at school. In junior high I had a classmate whose brother was severely disabled, yet the family treated him as though he weren't. It was different to me and I really didn't know why. Most people were pretty comfortable with him if they had been around him enough. Some people didn't know what to say or how to act. That was just something I observed and tucked in the back of my mind.

High school came and went as I attended a Christian school. There was an outreach to disabled people through the church we were affiliated with, so we had people on campus all the time. Most high schoolers laughed at them, jocks made jokes about them, the cool kids ignored them and the outcasts kind of accepted them as one of their own. Again, I observed this and tucked it in the back of my mind.

After high school, I was hooked up with a bible study at the home of my junior high classmate with the disabled brother. I didn't think much about being disabled except that it must be tough. Michael is his name, and he loves worship music. Michael was my buddy. He would smile from ear to ear when he saw me and I talked to him or put my hand on his shoulder. You see, Michael has severe cerebral palsy. I still think about how much Michael loves worship today as I now live as a disabled person. Michael's story can be heard on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk Broadcast, Day 1 and Day 2.

Watching Michael and other disabled people over the years gave me a compassion for those that could not walk, run, talk or do things like you and I could. My heart always sunk when I saw someone in a wheelchair trying to get through a door and people wouldn't help. I was the one who did try to help. I would always tell my mom that "I had a heart for disabled people." Now after all these years maybe I have the answer of why I felt that compassion and need to help those in need. We'll play a little more catch up tomorrow...

No comments:

Post a Comment