a little perspective always necessary
One morning in Starbucks, back in June, I saw someone who made me see things in a better perspective.
As I opened the door to Starbucks, I saw a girl in a wheelchair kinda zoom in front of the door, which prevented me from immediately entering the store. She said something to her friend who was in line and then zoomed back past me, while turning to me and apologizing profusely when she realized that she cut in front of me.
This was when I was able to get a good look at this girl. She was young. Like early 20’s young. She was quite beautiful and had on this gorgeous green flowy top. Then I noticed that she had no legs, no lower body whatsoever. She very literally had no body below her pelvis.
She was sincerely mortified that she cut me off. She was so apologetic to me, when her infraction toward me had been so minor. When she settled at a table to wait for her friend in line to get drinks, she was so upbeat, talking to the employees and smiling at everyone. She seemed genuinely happy. You couldn’t help but be positively affected by her.
It’s not that I forgot about this girl, but after marveling about her to friends soon after I saw her, I didn’t really think about her again. Until I was reading an online post about the autobiographies that recently came out for Shawn Johnson and Dominique Moceanu. I wound up clicking through a couple of stories because I was intrigued by Moceanu’s long lost sister. Her sister had been born when she was 6 (somehow, she knew nothing of the sibling, which I find odd, but whatever) and without legs. Her parents gave her up for adoption, claiming that they didn’t have the resources/money to care for her.
Anyhoo, I’m clicking around the Interwebs and come across a specific set of pictures of this long lost sister…holy crap! That’s the girl from Starbucks!
So, long lost sister’s name is Jen and she grew up within a very loving home. The crazy (well, maybe more total coinkidinky) thing is that she watched Dominique in the Atlanta Olympics and idolized her. She became a gymnast herself – without legs. It’s pretty amazing to see her tumbling. She has become a renowned aerialist acrobat.
It’s so easy in our everyday lives to lose perspective. Here is someone who is technically “disabled” – I’m using quotes because in my eyes, she is way more abled and athletic than I am – who has overcome great obstacles while remaining so positive and overcoming the odds. It makes anything that I am dealing with and my complaining (hello, just read this blog) seem so trivial and inconsequential (even if it’s not). It makes you think that whatever hand you are dealt, you gotta make the most of it. Keep positive and life can be what you make of it.