In the news, we hear these terrible stories about school shootings, unnecessary deaths, and the list of inhumane acts goes on and on. Being in a wheelchair, I see random acts of kindness every day that reassure me that humanity is inherently good and kind.
My first story happened on a while I was on a walk. I had crossed the street and dropped my iPod. It was cold but I really wanted to walk in the park because it’s a significant source of independence for me. Cars are passing me and I am not leaving my precious collection of music on the sidewalk. After about 2 minutes, a woman stopped her car, got out, and made sure that not only I had my iPod but it was in the correct spot. I was so touched that she got out of her car and had empathy for me. It was maybe 15 seconds but it made my day!
My second story happened in D.C. Jenn, my assistant couldn’t go because she got into nursing school. It was just me and my dad. He put my make up on for my meeting which was different for him. The only part he couldn’t do was my earrings. I didn’t anticipate this issue but it was. I had the idea of asking the women at the front desk because I think every woman wants to complete her outfit as she sees fits. These pearls completed the darn outfit and I was going to get them on! The woman at the front desk smiled at me as my father explained the situation. She was more than happy to assist me! It’s incredible that she was not fazed by it. Again, I was really touched and felt like a put together woman ready to take on D.C.
I want to acknowledge that my dad didn’t have to go to D.C., I could have participated via teleconference but both of my parents know how important the FCC Disability Advisory Committee is to me and made it happen! I’m blessed to be their kid.
The most incredible act of kindness took months to transpire. About 6 months ago, I was out with a couple from church and a man in his fifties approaches my friend and starts asking about me. Well, me being me, I had to go join the conversation. I shake his hand and tell him about my awesome life. He gave me his information and I gave him my business card. I really didn’t think anything of it. I e-mailed Tom over the weekend and he got back to me Monday. Suddenly, I realize this is SOMETHING GOOD. Ultimately, Tom and Marilyn Flanagan had me speak at their benefit for the organization Marilyn works for which is RRAF (http://www.rraf.org/index.html). This organization serves individuals who have cognitive disabilities. I learned that it undoubtedly changes lives. I told the audience I wanted to mentor people who just were in accidents and lost their speech. I want to teach them that a communication device is just as powerful as a natural voice. People who are able bodied can point out the countless benefits of communication devices all day but I come in to a hospital room and I have merit. It’s definitely something I want to do. If you know of an organization that would be able to pay me for these services, please let me know. RRAF, keep on changing lives because you are making a huge difference!
I hope all of you found a way to make the world a little bit pinker in memory of Julie.
I absolutely love you all,