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August 29, 2008


this is a very beautiful thing. i had never thought about someone with a handicap seeing things that way.

This is so beautiful Steve.

Mary has a wonderful mother. I don't know if either will see this, but it is for Mary. I have a small handicap and you can learn to love life and forget about it mostly. Some people are amazed at what I do and you can do many things if you just forget what others say and do it a step at a time. I would definitely do the special olympics. You will find people will cheer for you as long as you try and it will feel very good. You may even find some great friends.

Jheri out

All of us are awkward in one way or another, and everyone has handicaps. Ultimately, it's not the physical handicaps which most hurt people, but the attitudinal ones. One of the worst handicaps a person can have is the failure to appreciate someone just because that person is different. Luckily, most people grow out of that, but those who don't pay a huge price by choosing such a narrow life. It is no less sad just because they chose it.

Mary, what matters the most is not "succeeding". What matters the most is TRYING. Succeeding has its moment of joy, but trying is a thing everyone can do every day and the freedom it gives is a treasure. When it is especially rewarding is when something difficult is tried despite being difficult. That is something it took me a long while to understand, and I wish I had thought about it sooner because it would have made my earlier life far more satisfying and rewarding.

Is that scary some times? You bet it is. Does it matter afterward that it was scary? Only from the standpoint of knowing that it was tried anyway, and that feels great.

Please, if you decide to compete let us all here know by writing to the Blog owner, Steve beforehand. I've spoken with Steve who is willing to mention it if he is told so that we all can be cheering for you and thinking about you on that day or those days.

After reading Sukie's comment I was reminded of a Douglas Adams quote - the short version is:

      The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

Of course you don't get this on the first try. You might not be graceful on your first try and are likely to hit the ground. But you get better and better with practice and work. Some people progress at different rates, but the real point is trying.

noted by Julia:

this is really wonderful -- colleen did make falling down and getting up again quite ennobling. i don't think you could really laugh at her because she never seemed embarrassed herself!

Someone sent this to me. It is very special. Has Helen been in contact? Did Mary get interested enough to try out the special olympics?

I went to Colleen's page and she seems very special. I hope she continues her blog.

I saw this show early in the summer and thought it was terrible making fun of people the way it does. This had never occurred to me. Maybe if something is so hard that we are at the same level and so silly that we can laugh, it is good.

I couldn't work up the courage to do what Colleen just went out and attacked. You said she is an athlete and I'm not surprised. She was probably silly like me when she first started doing something like playing baseball. But she probably kept at it and I am still foolish. I would like to think it is the trying that is what is important and if a handicapped person can laugh enough to try, this is a a little blessing.

I thank you Colleen for your attitude and Mary, I pray that you find the strength to try something and stick with it. There is something for all of us.

Lynn wrote and adds:

That is really wonderful... amazing how changing one's frame of reference (someone with a coordination disability) can make even a "failure" so inspiring, too.

Oh this is beautiful. You never know when you might help someone. Helen is amazing for figuring out something that might work. And Colleen, thank you for being one of those rare people who challenges herself.

I remember watching ice skating when I was little and thinking olympic skaters could just skate like that instantly. There was someone in my school who practiced every day and years later I knew her and saw how much work there was. This was a big lesson for me and inspired me to work hard through college. I had never thought about the part where you have to want something so much that you don't care what other people think.

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