A "PS" TO MY THANK YOU LIST; MY FINAL REMINDER FOR YOU.
If you are ever depressed, sad, floundering, desperate to find meaning in your life.....in your everyday existence...I encourage you to try what “works” for me. Go to a quiet place, get comfortable and erase your present thoughts.
Focus on what you have to be “Thankful For” and either speak-out and record your list OR start writing. When I feel alone or sad....I read my thankful list....which has grown quite long.....and it energizes me. The aloneness and sadness are instantly replaced with thankfulness.
Two Years Ago Today, I wrote about being Thankful for:
Bill. His last name was Keith. He was very large and scary-looking to young children. Probably in his late teens, Bill liked to chase the kids in the neighborhood, yelling and grunting, and making gutteral sounds. I was deathly afraid of him. I seldom went in the front yard, afraid I would encounter Bill. He lived one block from my house, in his mother's boarding house at 24th and Linden.
Determined I would lose my fear, my father took me by the hand and walked me to Bill’s house. Bill’s mother explained that her only child, Bill, was born with Mongolism (later renamed Down syndrome) and was classified as a Mongoloid. She apologized for his wild actions and overly-friendly behavior but, in spite of his eighteen year old body, he could only think and act-like a five year old. That experience was life-changing for me.
Years later, when I chose to enter the field of Special Education, I often thought of Bill. How sad that most of the neighborhood feared him. If only we had known about Bill’s disability; if only we had understood that, in spite of his size, Bill was just a kid like us. Bill was just a child... living in a big-boy's body--who simply wanted to play, have friends, and be like everyone else.
AND…I’m so THANKFUL….I can sing the songs in my heart. When I find it difficult to write, to express my thoughts, there are many times I just open my mouth and start singing. I get such satisfying results when I sing, regardless of the song. “Don’t worry if it’s not good enough….for anyone else to hear…..just Sing, Sing a Song!”
Life is precious. In spite of the good times, bad times, and cliff-hanging moments….I am so thankful for life, my very unique and wonderful life. I loved teaching my Special Education Students to sing: “You could search the whole world over….and you’d never find, but one-of-a-kind, and that one….is YOU.”
God, Thank You for granting me and those around me--- “The Gift of Life”. Please teach us to love one another despite our many differences. Help us look beyond appearances--- and find the beautiful hearts inside all of your children.