Recently we have been so narrowly focused on cowardice and evil that I want to steer myself away from thoughts of cowardly people doing cowardly things by causing destruction of other’s bodies and spirits. I’m tired of hearing news about the cowards. I’m tired of dealing with cowards in my daily life. I don’t want to make time for the cowards.
I want to focus my time on the Extraordinary people who bless this world.
Recently a friend of mine posted a video on Facebook of her daughter being asked to prom. “What’s so extraordinary about that?” you might ask. And you would have every right to ask the question, until you see the video.
And now you understand. Extraordinary.
I talked to Kellie yesterday. She’s the extraordinary young woman being asked to her senior prom by the extraordinary young man in the wheelchair with cerebral palsy. His name is Bing and the excitement he graced us with when Kellie said “Of course” is beyond priceless. I called her because I needed to know the back story to her enthusiastic answer.
When Kellie and her group of friends were sophomores in high school they joined a club called Best Buddies where they were paired with kids who have special needs. Best Buddies is an organization striving to take those with special needs and making them a bigger part of the community. They want to erase the invisible line that separates those who have special needs from those who don’t. Kellie and her friends did something a little special when they joined the club. In my mind, they decided to make a difference in someone else’s life.
Kellie wasn’t the first of her friends to be asked to prom by a boy with special needs. Her best friend Hannah was the first to be asked by young man named Chip. Hannah and Chip have been best friends since second grade when they began riding the bus together. Another of Kellie’s friends, Brooke, was asked by Michael. If you live around Richmond you would know his name from a newspaper article about him raising the most money for Deep Run’s Marathon Dance (which is another extraordinary story for another time). To me, Kellie and her friends are shining examples of what life should be about, sharing life’s experiences with people by looking at them from the inside out.
I asked Kellie how she came to be the one Bing wanted to take to Prom. Kellie said it was because Bing’s mom knew she could trust her. She knew Kellie would stay with Bing and hang out with him during the evening. Kellie and her friends will make sure they, and their dates, have a memorable Senior Prom together.
When I asked Kellie how she felt when Bing asked her to the Prom she told me she was more excited than anything. I went on to say that going to her Senior Prom with a kid who has special needs is something I don’t think many of us would do. Her response was extraordinary. “Disability shouldn’t define him and he shouldn’t not be able enjoy his Senior Prom because of his disability.” Her excitement was evident in her response to Bing as she accepted his bouquet of flowers.
How does a young woman possess such extraordinary poise at 18? I didn’t have to ask that question. I knew the answer before I even asked it. It’s her family. Her family instilled her ability to see beauty all around and her poise in her.
Oh for the love of all our children…