I wrote a guest post today for another blog. It is the blog of a very close friend of mine on the subject of children with special needs and bridging the gap between them and the rest of the world. It is a great read for any parent. I got to write a post because I was a child with special needs at one time. In doing so I realized that there are some people from my childhood that I need to thank.
First, I need to thank my big brother Matt because my defect affected his life way more than mine. I know that my life made his life harder for a long time. Even though we have always been opposites he always took up for me when it mattered. I'll never forget the words, "That's my sister. I'll kill you later." It meant the world to me.
Now I have a couple of childhood friends that deserve the spotlight. John Bennett has been my friend longer than anyone else I know. He was mostly my brother's friend, but in the same grade as me and we almost always had classes together at school. Not a single time in 34 years do I remember John ever asking me why I talked differently, he just accepted it. He also never joked about my voice, at least not that I ever heard. We lived in a small town and went to an even smaller school so I'm pretty sure it would have gotten back to me. The other friend is Christy Rose Day. Christy, not only did you dare to tell kids it wasn't funny to pick on me, you threatened them with bodily harm if they did it again. Word got around that I was "protected" which is why the bullying never escalated. You had my back from the day we met to the day we graduated even when our lives took different paths. I love you for that.
To all the people who were brave enough to ask why and found my answer cool instead of creepy, I thank you. You made my life a little easier. To Cindy, Evelyn, Tracey, and Sheri, you were the best friends a strange little girl like me could have asked for. Each one of you walked me through a different phase of my life and supported me exactly the way I needed.
I thank people for tiny things everyday, but it isn't often that I stop and thank people for the big things they do. Thanks for reading and for letting me thank a few people who I wouldn't normally get a chance to.