What’s In A Name?
What’s not to envy? He has scores of friends, very popular, lots of interests, a physique to die for and an abundance of self confidence. What could be better? Let me count the ways as seen from an outsider.
First of all, his first 9 months of life (in vitro) were far from normal. When he uttered his first cry, he brought with him a mountain of challenges mainly physical but also neurological.
His size gave him his nickname for which he is generally known: peanut, a name given to him by his father because of his birth size and it stuck. But he accepts the name tag as a badge of courage and is proud to be known as such. Few of his friends would recognize his birth certificate name.
He is a resident at a health facility where his is widely known and loved by scores of his friends with whom he associates daily in a variety of social situations, during meal times and when there is a group activity he is most likely to attend and in some cases, actually participate.
A long time resident, he knows everybody and over the years has an impressive array of hundreds of friends past and present whom he knows on a first name basis. He is the embodiment of the history of this home away from home.
He is also a great role model for others who arrive there with a wide variety of physical limitations but few as demanding as his. His lower extremities never really fully developed so he has spent a life time in a wheel chair but not in a passive role. He has compensated for his lack of the normal use of his legs by developing his upper body which he uses most effectively.
He is now middle aged but a casual observer who could see only this upper torso would perhaps guess that he is still in his late teen years. Because he has had to propel his wheelchair to move about, he had naturally increased the muscles on his upper body. And he has over the years developed a program using basic body building equipment to further enhance his physique.
I doubt anyone his age would want to get in an arm wrestling match with him.
Although his educational opportunities are unknown; still he has been able to learn to read, to write and to speak with understanding. He is a fighter although in a body that would undoubtedly be at a disadvantage in some situations. But what he lacks in these areas, he makes up for in his development of a most important personal characteristic: self esteem.
Although not competitive in some physical challenges, his mind is that of a champion. He is not one to cower in a corner, unwilling to react and interact with others but one who usually is on the front row anxious to prove that he is a contributor not simply an observer.
How many of you reading this would volunteer to sing a solo in front of 50+ people? Just what I thought, but he accepts the challenge without any hesitation.
The saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” describes this remarkable life of one who has never given up to what might be called adversity; to him, however, it’s simply another challenge.
What comparable challenges have YOU overcome?
PO Box 128
Hamer, SC 29547
What’s In A Name?