“Let us always meet each other with smile,
for the smile is the beginning of love.”
― Mother Teresa
Were you the one who stared at me today? I was pulling an oxygen tank behind me. Or maybe I was in a wheelchair. Perhaps I had a birth defect and only had one full hand. It could be that I was the victim of a terrible fire in which my face was badly burned.
It doesn’t really matter which one I was, does it? The question still stands: were you the one who stared at me?
Maybe your children pointed their fingers and laughed, and instead of chastising them gently and explaining that bad things happen to good people, you just pulled them in another direction. Maybe it was all you could do to keep from laughing with them. Was it?
I guess it never occurred to you how much it hurts to have someone point a finger at you and laugh. You’ll probably never understand how much pain I’ve gone through with my disability…it took me quite a while to gather my courage so I could venture out to the dollar store, walk along the mall or enter the grocery store.
There was a time not that long ago when I was in tears. I just couldn’t accept the fact that my life was forever changed. It hurt me that all my plans would never come to fruition. I didn’t understand why I, of all people, had to learn to do life over again — why the simplest chores took so much energy and how I had to allow double or triple the time to do something compared to how it used to be.
I remember those carefree days, when I was roller skating with my boyfriend’s son holding my hand tightly. I can recall how I used to play hide and seek…running was possible then. It isn’t now. It doesn’t seem possible that I once climbed down a steep hill to set up my place for fishing in the reservoir. Oh, how I loved fishing there.
I only have one more question to ask you, and I hope you’ll answer honestly.
Next time you see me, would you hold out your hand, give me a smile, love me with your whole heart through the look in your eyes?
I’m not asking for a handout. I don’t want your money.
But I would really love it if you would look at me with joy knowing that I celebrate living one day at a time. It would mean so much.
If you think you could do this, how about passing this message on to your friends? Maybe they would be willing to treat me the same way too.