Award Winning Best Selling Florida Author Yvonne Mason

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Intangible Gifts!


Dream Catcher Failure Was Never an Option

Years ago my family was given a gift that keeps on giving. No matter how bad it gets no matter what happens this gift keeps on giving back. This gift was given to us at a time when gifts like this was no the norm. Nor was it accepted in a closed minded and bigoted society. This gift was shunned, ignored and hidden from the world. This gift was considered a shame upon the family especially the mother. This gift was picked on, teased and often times killed because of the “difference.” There was no education for this gift no tolerance no love.

But in our home, this gift was loved, accepted, and wanted. I am talking about an amazing child who was born at a time when the handicapped were not accepted. In 1952 Stan came into our lives. He was diagnosed as Retarded after a bout of the flu leading to an inflammation of the brain which caused damage to his motor skills and speech skills among other things. The normal was “no hope” – but not in our house.

Stan not only had parents, siblings and a support group who truly loved and accepted him, he had a strength from within that can’t be taught. He believed in himself even when he was small. My life with my brother has taught me many things, but most of all it has taught me that we all have challenges, we all are retarded in some form. None of us are perfect and when we say we are we are lying to ourselves. Stan has taught me that dreams are more than just dreams, they are real and that we should never ever let them die. We should strive toward them daily. He has taught me that “everything will be alright” no matter what happens. That no matter how dark the storm clouds are there will always be a rainbow later.

Stan knows the true meaning of unconditional love even when he has been hurt. He knows the depth of loyalty. He believes that one must and should work for their paycheck for many reasons. The most important is self respect and a feeling of independence. He understands that one must work in order to live not just exist. He believes in a days work for a day’s pay. He refuses handouts from anyone and he pays his own way.

Stan is a gift to so many in many ways and for many reasons. You see he leaves a part of himself behind with whoever he meets and he stays with that person for ever. Stan is not a bigot, nor does he allow that in his life. He is not filled with self pity because he is handicapped. He doesn’t ask for anyone else to feel pity for him either. In fact it makes him angry when they do. He doesn’t ask for special attention or favors. He only asks for respect as a human who has the same feelings and emotions we all do.

He could draw a check from the government but he says, “I want to make my own money. I don’t want to live off the government.” He understands that a certain pride comes from working and making one’s own way in the world. He understands that a certain sense of well being and well roundness comes from working and getting paid for it. He understands that a sense of accomplishment comes from earning that paycheck. He understands he is not a drain on society because he contributes to society. He is worthwhile and he is somebody.

His story should be in every home, on every bookshelf in every school and in the hand of every professional from Doctors to Nurses to those who delve into the mind to teachers and aids and parents and siblings. If Stan can see all these things and he is “Retarded” then what is stopping the rest of the world from being productive?

I can only think of one thing- Selfishness. Read his story, learn how he made his dreams real when the world said he couldn’t – learn how he accepted the cards he was dealt and used them to make himself successful. Read his story and take the lessons and apply them to your life. You see we all have challenges- we all have a handicap in some shape or form. But most times we hide it from ourselves as well as the world and it becomes our crutch or excuse or so called reason for not fulfilling our dreams. Then at the end of our life we play the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” game. We die with regrets.

Stand on Graduation Day it was never supposed to happen

This was just one of his many dreams that has come true!

March 6, 2012 - Posted by | Books | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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