Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Is it Destiny?

Since JD's diagnosis a year and a half ago I've heard a certain line many times - "God gave you JD because you're such a wonderful mom and he knew you could handle it." At first it made me cringe inside and out, like it was the stupidest thing anyone ever said. But a year and a half later I've kind of come full circle thinking maybe they're right.

See, part of me wonders if it really was destiny. I was telling a friend at work today that my ideal job would be to lead the diversity and inclusion efforts at our company. Of course I have a passion for it because of JD, but I think that passion came way before he was even a "twinkle in my eye" as my husband says.

I can pinpoint it as far back as 11 years ago, when I was a freshman in college at the University of Florida. There was a class called "Exceptional People in School and Society" and I can truthfully say it was the most life-changing class I have ever taken. I took it because it was supposed to be an easy A, but what I didn't expect was how much I would learn.

The class was designed to put yourself in another person's shoes - literally. We learned sign language (I can still sign, "You are so beautiful to me!"), and spent an entire class in silence. We had to walk around campus blindfolded to experience life without sight. We volunteered with underprivileged children in the community, playing games and singing songs, keeping them off the streets. There was so much more, but what it all came down to was this - these exceptional people are PEOPLE, and they should be treated with respect, dignity and kindness, just as you would treat anyone else.

Who would have known that a class I took when I was 20 years old would have such an impact in my life a decade later? Maybe God was preparing me, not only to take care of my little boy, but to help the world understand and accept these Exceptional People. I feel so thankful to know my passion, and to live it first-hand, because some people search for it their entire life.

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