Saturday, April 26, 2014
I tutor a young man, A, who has autism. He is trying to obtain his GED. He has a certificate of completion from high school but A is determined to receive a "real" diploma. I have faith that Anthony will get that GED. I feel blessed to tutor Anthony (free of charge) as I see how determined he is to finally get his diploma. Unfortunately, A's family situation is not the most ideal and he doesn't receive much support from any of his family members.
A has been telling me for weeks about his upcoming competition at the Special Olympics. Knowing that his family more than likely would not be there to cheer him on, I felt that I needed to be there for him. I am so glad that I went. None of A's church friends and, as predicted, none of A's family showed up to cheer him on. A's face lit up when he saw me and my children. He was so happy that we came to cheer him on and take pictures. He ended up placing 1st in both competitions that he participated in. It was so sweet to see how happy A was to receive those medals. He did deserve those medals because he really was that good. I was very happy for him.
However, I couldn't help but feel a little sadness that nobody in A's family seemed to care enough to see him compete. And to top it off, A asked me if anybody else from church was there. Unfortunately, the answer was no. Despite my children nearly making me decide against going this morning, I'm so happy that I went with my gut instinct to be a blessing to A. It turned out to be such a blessing to me, too.
In between A's competitions, as I looked around at all of the participants and events, I couldn't help but smile. There were a lot of participants, in the hundreds. And there were even more supporters, not just family but also community. The "dis"abilities varied widely and most of them included decreased cognitive abilities. But.. these precious souls were able to be free and to be themselves without judgmental looks, without others poking fun. The support most of the participants received was just incredible. To see the participants jump up and squeal when they received their medals... oh what joy they had. It was so fun to watch them. I enjoyed it so much that I may just look into volunteering at next year's event.