I know I’ve been away from the blog a lot recently, but I’ve been working a lot and been doing a lot of thinking about my grandfather, my friends and family but really about life in general. One of the things I’ve been really thinking a lot about is how truly blessed I am to live in a country where I am free to live my dreams and not worry about what other people think of me. For the longest time growing up, in elementary school especially, I was stared at a lot, and that really made me sad thinking other kids saw me as a monster or somebody not worthy of their friendship.
Some days I would get home from school, go into my room after getting a snack mom made me, do my homework and wonder if I’d ever have any friends at all. Now, granted, the teachers and a few kids were nice to me, and I’ll never forget how much my teachers and friends back then meant to me, but there were some kids who walked around with their nose in the air like they were God’s gift to society. Nothing made me more frustrated than seeing somebody walk down the hall and not give two hoots about me, no matter how nice I tried to be to them.
Later on as I got older, I started coming out of my shell more and started telling people about my disability and my testimony, but I still couldn’t help feeling like the last kid picked for a game of basketball, only about ten times smaller than he or she was. Only until recently, in the last four or five years, have I started to notice that it’s not what’s outside, but what is on the inside of a person that really counts. I love talking to people now and have even started getting back in church, thanks to a beautiful, amazing friend who invited me for Easter Sunday. She and I met at a restaurant she works at, and everytime I see her, she always comes over and says “Give me some loving” and just totally makes me forget about my disability. I wish the world had more people like my best friend Rebecca because she has the most amazing heart of anyone I’ve ever met. The fact that she has the prettiest, most mezmerizing blue eyes doesn’t hurt matters either 😉
Anyway, got off in left field there for a minute… back to the title of this post, “Three Simple Words.” You’re probably asking yourself what this means. Well, sit down in your favorite recliner, grab a glass of lemonade and I’ll tell you.
All my life I’ve struggled to fit into society, no matter if I was going to school, at a local restaurant or one of my favorite bookstores, and some days I wish I could just crawl into a deep dark hole and go to sleep forever. But whenever I hear someone say “I love you, Jason” or “I’m proud of you, Jason” that means more to me than all the money in the world. You see, that’s all I think anybody wants or could ask for, especially if you have a disability, is to have somebody to be proud of you and to love you unconditionally.
My best friend Rebecca is one of those people, who looks beyond my disability and will help anybody she can. I remember a couple months ago, the lift in my van broke down and I had to call my dad to come help me… I started to feel really lonely and a little sad because bad things always seem to happen to me, but something inside told me to text Rebecca. A few minutes later she texted back and said, “You are an amazing person. You are not a quitter.” Those few words gave me more courage and strength than anything I could possibly imagine, and every time she sees me she always tells me she loves me. When I hear those words, I realize that yes I do matter to someone and I will always have someone I can depend on when I have a problem or just feel like giving up because of my disability. Rebecca has truly blessed my life in ways that she will never understand, and I just hope she understands how much I admire and respect her.
In a way, Rebecca has made so many of my dreams come true and has made some of my biggest fears disappear, just by her amazing friendship and the way she supports me whenever I see her. I’d have never dreamed I’d be back in church or feel as confident as I do about conquering my disability every day. Now every day when I wake up, even if I feel like I got run over by a Mack truck, I just think of Rebecca’s beautiful blue eyes, imagine her sweet voice saying “I love you” and I know everything will be okay.
As a final thought, next time you see a friend or a loved one, tell them the magic words and see if their face doesn’t light up like a Christmas tree. And if you think you don’t matter, just wait until you’re at your favorite restaurant and your favorite waitress steals a French fry or two, then you’ll know!!! 😉
Rebecca, I love you!!!