Sunday, April 15, 2007


For various reasons, I must remain silent regarding some details of the experience I wish to share with you. Pseudonyms are being used in this story, and if this post seems unusually vague at times, know that there is a reason.

There is always a reason.

Last week, I was unfortunate enough to encounter the "R" word again. Retard. Retarded. The variation matters not. It was uttered by someone who knows better. In fact, it disappointed me quite a bit to know John in particular used this word. I immediately became defensive and formulated in my mind what action I would take. It would have to be addressed.

It was not until the next day that I would be able to do anything about it. And I was pleasantly surprised as someone else approached me before I did. Amy, who I think very highly of and who was familiar with this situation approached me and asked if I had been offended by this. I said that I was, and that I was really very disappointed. Not only that this word had been used, but that it was John that used it. Amy and I talked about it at length.

I'm tempted to say that it would not have been appropriate for me to approach John, but that's not quite it. It's a little more political than that. Amy asked if I wanted her to say something to John and I said yes. I'm positive that she will -- if she hasn't already. Amy will probably fill me in on the conversation, but maybe not. It's fine either way.

I thanked Amy for coming to me about this. It meant a lot. As I walked away from her, I thought about it and felt good. I'm glad that John will realize what he said. I hope he's a little embarrassed. But more than that, I hope he realized the impact of what he said.

And then I saw him. A man that I had never seen before, or if I did, one that I never really paid much attention to.

Wearing a Buddy Walk t-shirt.

I smiled. And as I kept walking, a feeling of pride grew inside me.

And then I realized what I was wearing. A blue shirt and a yellow jacket-vest.

Fate. Karma. Serendipity. Call it anything you'd like. There was something very special in those few moments.

And there's one more thing. As I was doing a Google image search for the term "serendipity", I found the lovely picture that opens this post.

It's of tulips.

I found it on page 21.

Serendipity indeed.


Nicole said...

I'm so proud of you and your family. Your extended T21 family is truly blessed to have you guys on this journey with us!

Bennetts said...

Thank You for sharing that story!

Tammy and Parker said...

You know, I just had my sweet patoot handed to me on a silver plate during a discussion over the R word and all of it's variations.

It amazes me that grown adults can stand there and defend their right to use this word in any way or form and then claim that they didn't mean it 'like that'.


I loved your story!

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