SOMEONE I LOVE... Also, Inspirations & Stories.
Someone I love...
Someone I love relies on me in ways you will never understand.
Someone I love endures pain and challenges that break my heart and renew my spirit at the same time.
Someone I love is unable to advocate for themselves for things that most of us take for granted.
Someone I love will never have the opportunities that every child should have.
Someone I love will need unconditional love and support after I am gone-this frightens me to the core.
Someone I love encounters pity, stereotyping responses and prejudice at every turn, because they look, act and/or learn differently from others.
Someone I love has needs that require me to allow outsiders" to have power and input in areas that should be mine alone to meet.
Someone I love will continue to look to me for everything in life long after other children are able to assume a place as part of the world.
Someone I love has needs that require more time and energy than I have to give.
Someone I love has needs that mean I am not able to meet basic needs of my own.
Someone I love has needs that have become the driving force behind major decisions my family makes.
Someone I love has changed me in ways I will never be able to describe.
Someone I love has taught me about love and about the really important things in life...
Dedication from: Living in My Skin: The Insider's View of Life With a Special Needs Child Copyright 2000 by Communication Skill Builders, a Harcourt Health SciencesCompany. Lori A. Hickman is the author.
Thank you Tonya M. for sending me that beautiful "reality"...
"Someone I love has taught me about love and about the really important things in life..."
Contact for Dynamites: HijaCali@aol.com
"Some of the shells that wash up on the beach were once very beautiful.
We don't know what kind of journey they had to take to get them in
their fragile condition. The same is true for people. Be kind."
If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
Bishop Desmond Tutu
South African Activist and Nobel Peace Prize Recipient
EIGHT GIFTS THAT DO NOT COST A CENT
1) THE GIFT OF LISTENING...
But you must REALLY listen.
No interrupting, no daydreaming,
no planning your response.
2) THE GIFT OF AFFECTION...
Be generous with appropriate hugs,
kisses, pats on the back and handholds.
Let these small actions demonstrate the
love you have for family and friends.
3) THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER...
Share articles and funny stories.
Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with
4) THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE...
It can be a simple
"Thanks for the help" note or a full sonnet.
A brief, handwritten note may be remembered
for a lifetime, and may even change a life.
5) THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT...
A simple and sincere,
"You look great in red," "You did a super
job" or "That was a wonderful meal"can make
6) THE GIFT OF A FAVOR...
Every day, go out of your way
to do something kind.
7) THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE...
There are times when we want nothing better
than to be left alone.
Be sensitive to those times and give the
gift of solitude to others.
8) THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION...
The easiest way to feel good is
to extend a kind word to someone,
really it's not that hard to say,
Hello or Thank You.
"The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved --
loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
Sent to us By Jo Ann Greenwood. Vice President of PAL
A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down
when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?" The young boy was apologetic. "Please, mister...please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do," He pleaded. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop..." With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. "It's my brother, "he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up."
Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."
Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. "Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy! push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home.
It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door.
He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: "Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!" God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It's our choice to listen or not.
"The only thing that you can carry with you on your travels is your
heart. Fill your heart with good things and good things will follow you for the rest of your life."
FOREST GUMP GOES TO HEAVEN...
The day finally arrived; Forrest Gump dies and goes to Heaven. He is at the Pearly Gates, met by St. Peter himself. However, the gates are closed and Forrest approaches the Gatekeeper.
St. Peter says, "Well, Forrest, it's certainly good to see you. We have heard a lot about you. I must tell you, though, that the place is filling up fast, and we've been administering an entrance examination for everyone. The test is short, but you have to pass it before you can get into Heaven."
Forrest responds, "It shor is good to be here , St. Peter, sir. But nobody ever tolt me about any entrance exam. Shor hope the test ain't too hard; life was a big enough test as it was."
St. Peter goes on, "Yes, I know, Forrest, but the test is only three questions.
First: What two days of the week begin with the letter T?
Second: How many seconds are there in a year?
Third: What is God's first name?"
Forrest leaves to think the questions over. He returns the next day and sees St. Peter, who waves him up and says, "Now that you have had a chance to think the questions over, tell me your answers."
Forrest says, "Well, the first one -- which two days in the week begin with the letter "T"? Shucks, that one's easy. That'd be Today and Tomorrow.
The Saint's eyes open wide and he exclaims, "Forrest, that's not what I was thinking, but you do have a point, and I guess I didn't specify, so I'll give you credit for that answer. How about the next one?" asks St. Peter.
"How many seconds in a year?"
"Now that one's harder," says Forrest, "but I thunk and thunk about that and I guess the only answer can be twelve."
Astounded, St. Peter says, "Twelve? Twelve!? Forrest, how in Heaven's name could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?"
Forrest says "Shucks, there's gotta be twelve: January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd. . . ...."
"Hold it, " interrupts St. Peter. "I see where you're going with this, and I see your point, though that wasn't quite what I had in mind..... but I'll have to give you credit for that one, too. Let's go on with the third and final question.
Can you tell me God's first name"?
"Sure", Forrest replied, "its Howard."
"Howard?!" exclaimed an exasperated and frustrated St. Peter. "Ok, I can understand how you came up with your answers to my first two questions, but just how in the world did you come up with the name Howard as the first name of God?"
"Shucks, that was the easiest one of all, " Forrest replied. "Don't you know the Our Father?
Our father who art in heaven, Howard be thy name. . ."
St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates and said: "Run Forrest, run."
A few years ago at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly
in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win.
All, that is, except one boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. They all turned around and went back. Every one of them.
One girl with DOWN'S SYNDROME bent down and kissed him and said,
"This will make it better."
ALL nine linked arms and walked across the finish line together.
Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were there are still telling the story. Why?
Because deep down we know this one thing:
What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves.
What truly matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.
Struggle and Victory
by Lila Jones Cathey
In a small farmhouse fifteen miles from the nearest town, my mother gave birth to her fourth child ? a fragile
boy, with a fair complexion and a fretful cry.
Troy was an unusually restless baby, with a delicate digestive system. Feedings were a struggle, as my parents desperately tried one formula after another in an attempt to nourish the frail child. At four months, Troy weighed less than he had at birth.
The rural community had no sophisticated hospital, no pediatric specialist, no support groups. Only a tiny bed in a three-room house and a country doctor with limited knowledge of infant disease. My parents realized something was tragically wrong with their son, but didn't know what.
Every effort was made to make Troy comfortable; every remedy, regardless of how bizarre, was tried. Each day the baby grew weaker. The local doctor suggested that a specialist in a nearby city might give my parents answers to their puzzling questions.
Arrangements were hastily made. The fifty-mile drive became a journey of hope ? the only hope ? for the almost lifeless baby in my mother's arms.
Upon arriving, Troy was whisked away for a series of tests. Hours seemed endless as my parents waited in
silence, lost in their thoughts and fears.
On the third day, the doctor called them into his office. His message was bleak. Their seven-month-old son
was a victim of Down's syndrome. He was also suffering from an enlarged heart, thyroid disorder and serious digestive problems. He wasn't likely to live; if he did, he would be severely mentally retarded.
My parents stood rigid, listening to the doctor as he spoke of the baby's uncertain future ? and of the
alternatives. They moved closer together, groping for each other's hands. In their minds, there was no alternative to consider.
"I am not a perfect man," my father said. "How can I demand a perfect child?"
"We will help him do the best he can with the abilities he has," my mother added, "the same as we have
helped his brothers and sister."
Medication was prescribed to relieve much of Troy's suffering. Soon parents and child were huddled together in the front seat of the car, driving home.
Troy responded well to the medication and his weight gradually increased. The crises of the first months faded.
There were no small accomplishments in Troy's development. Each achievement was recognized and
celebrated by the entire family with the fanfare of the Academy Awards. As he grew, he was encouraged to explore.
Colorful objects were placed within his reach. His ears were constantly entertained with simple words that were easy to pronounce. Special handles were installed on the window sills to help him stand on his unsteady legs, so that he could watch the older children at play outside.
Troy rewarded the family for their care and encouragement with angelic smiles.
Shortly before his second birthday, Troy became ill with erysipelas, a dreadfully painful disease that causes
the skin to become blotchy, swollen and red. He whimpered while my parents took turns bathing his feverish body. My mother sang lullabies and stroked his flushed face for hours in an effort to soothe him. He hovered near death for weeks, then months.
Gradually Troy's swollen hands returned to normal and the hours of restless wakefulness gave way to peaceful sleep. Six months of illness came to an end. The baby had bravely fought and won another crucial battle.
During this time my mother became pregnant with me. I was born in the same farmhouse as Troy, with my
grandmother, a neighbor and the country doctor in attendance.
From babyhood, Troy was my constant companion. As I learned to walk, he, too, took his first faltering steps. Repeating sounds I made became a game with Troy, which thrilled my parents as they strained their ears to hear an actual word.
Occasionally we were given a treat, usually a large red apple. We would squeal with delight as my mother held the colorful fruit just beyond our grasp, patiently repeating the word "apple."
Once during this familiar ritual, Troy's eyes fixed intensely on the luscious fruit, and he pronounced his
first word: "apple." Mother quickly summoned my father from the field. The older children hurried in from their chores. Troy was on stage and he knew it. Again and again he said the word, clapping his hands together, as the family cheered him on.
After that his vocabulary increased slowly and steadily. Although he was never able to speak clearly or
distinctly, and his sentences were often slow and incomplete, his halting words eloquently conveyed thoughts
and ideas that were uniquely his own.
For the next few years, Troy's and my life was happy and rather normal. We spent our days making mud pies, riding stick horses and cutting paper dolls out of old catalogs. We shared responsibility for simple chores around the house, and we were punished equally for our frequent mischief.
Our formal schooling started when I was five. The school board had decided Troy should attend public school. Together we walked three miles to our first day of school, stopping along the way to inspect a variety of bugs crossing our path.
The children in the community had grown up realizing Troy was different, and from most of the students he
received gentle affection. I was a fierce protector of my brother and he accepted my being his keeper without complaining. The teachers were generous with their time and attention. Troy was issued learning material along with the rest of the class, but he usually spent his time coloring in a special book. His citizenship was excellent. He was quiet and obedient in the classroom, and cheerful and cooperative on the playground. Each year he was promoted with a straight-A report card. He loved being praised for his outstanding achievements.
Soon sports and boys became big things in my life. I reveled in my new social world ? a world in which my
brother sadly could not belong. My parents saw a need for change. My graduation from
high school was the beginning of the transition. A week of careful planning went into a ceremony that would take place in our living room, "graduating" my brother from high school.
Mother drove fifty miles to buy a class ring at a pawn shop. Troy was delighted, sporting the ring proudly on his finger as he tried on my graduation cap and gown.
We were in a dilemma, wondering how to explain why we were having his ceremony at home, when everyone else had theirs at school. My mother was inspired to pray for rain. Sure enough the following morning rain drenched the dirt roads, making them impassable.
With a sigh of relief, Dad announced, "The graduation must go on."
Mother dressed Troy in my cap and gown. The family assembled in the living room.
I played "Amazing Grace," the only song I knew how to play on the piano. Troy marched in and stood proudly in front of my father, who was dressed in his Sunday best.
Daddy made a speech about Troy's great accomplishments and then handed him his diploma ? a white sheet of paper with his name on it, rolled up and tied with a ribbon. Troy shook Daddy's hand, then quickly moved the tassel from one side of the cap to the other.
We all stood, giving thunderous applause. Mother's eyes brimmed with tears as she drew Troy into her arms.
How proud he was!
No longer a student, Troy would soon be given more responsibility at home. For the rest of his life, he would
relish his new role as an adult and perform any work he was asked to do with meticulous care.
Looking back on that faraway living-room graduation, I remember being filled with awe and joy at the amazing journey we had shared with Troy which had brought us to that moment: from his physically afflicted infancy when he twice almost died, to a babyhood full of challenges most families never dream of, to an education that taught many of his teachers and fellow students THEIR GREATEST LESSONS IN COURAGE AND HUMANITY!
THORUGH IT ALL, TROY'S CAPACITY TO LOVE WAS BOUNDLESS; the tenderness and kindness he demonstrated to everyone he encountered was unsurpassed; and the wide-eyed INNOCENCE with which he met the world never wavered.
Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.
There once was a bunch of tiny frogs,...
... who arranged a running competition.
The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower.
A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants...
The race began..
No one in crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.
You heard statements such as:
"Oh, WAY too difficult!!"
"They will NEVER make it to the top."
"Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!"
The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one...
... Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher...
The crowd continued to yell,
"It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!"
More tiny frogs got tired and gave up...
...But ONE continued higher and higher and higher...
This one wouldn't give up!
At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top!
THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it?
A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal?
It turned out...
That the winner was DEAF!!!!
The wisdom of this story is:
Never listen to other people's tendencies to be
negative or pessimistic...
...because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you -- the ones you have in your heart!
Always think of the power words have.
Because everything you hear and read will affect your actions!
And above all:
Be DEAF when people tell YOU that you cannot fulfill your dreams!
WELCOME TO HOLLAND
Emily Perl Kingsley.
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
"PLAN FOR WORLD PEACE..."
Another plan I have is 'World Peace through Formal Introductions.' The idea is that everyone in the world would be required to meet everyone else in the world, formally, at least once. You'd have to look the person in the eye, shake hands, repeat their name, and try to remember one outstanding physical characteristic. My theory is, if you knew everyone in the world personally, you'd be less inclined to fight them in a war: "Who??? The Malaysians??? Are you kidding??? I know those people!!!"
"I WISH FOR YOU..."
Comfort on difficult days,
Smiles when sadness intrudes,
Rainbows to follow the clouds,
Laughter to kiss your lips,
Sunsets to warm your heart
Gentle hugs when spirits sag,
Friendships to brighten your being,
Beauty for your eyes to see,
Confidence for when you doubt,
Faith so that you can believe,
Courage to know yourself,
Patience to accept the truth,
And love to complete your life.
God Bless you!
A GIFT FOR YOU...
Every night, someone thinks about you before they go to sleep.
At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
THE ONLY REASON SOMEONE WOULD EVER HATE YOU IS BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE JUST LIKE YOU!
There are at least 2 people in this world that would die for you.
You mean the world to someone.
Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.
WHEN YOU MAKE THE BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER, SOMETHING GOOD COMES FROM IT!
When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look again.
Always remember the compliments you received.
Forget the rude remarks.
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