I sat three tables over from him, and I could tell. Every move, every twitch spoke a story. My heart broke when I watched him eat the same veggie burger as me – because it was easy for me, but it wasn’t for him. He couldn’t eat without his head jerking. He couldn’t sit still, his feet moving and shaking in rhthym. I have seen this before, in a childhood friend. Tourette’s is his story.
I walked the halls of the mall, searching for the perfect gift for a friend. That’s when I saw her. Tall, slim, with gorgeous caramel coloured skin and flawless brown hair. Her clothes were elegant. She carried her designer handbag on her arm, which amazed me because she didn’t have a forearm or hand. Somehow she confidently walked with her bag on her arm, without fear of it falling and spilling its contents on the floor. She was beautiful. Amelia syndrome is her story.
I was in high school when we met for the first time. We were lab partners, and she missed a lot of time from class. She’d call me from her bed to get her lab notes. She hadn’t moved for a few days. Endometriosis is her story.
Her eyes were so empty it broke my heart. Where there was usually a sparkle and laughter there was nothing but grey. She was talking to me with her lips, but her eyes were silent. And eyes say everything. Depression is her story.
He sat next to me with twenty two staples in his head. Glistening in the morning sun, sending dots of light on the wall. His hands shake more than they used to. A brain tumor is his story.
Each person left an impact on me. But not because of their disability. Because of their character.
Tourette’s was surrounded by a group of friends, happy to be sharing a meal with someone whose company they enjoyed. It reminded me of the importance of friendships where you can just be yourself.
Amelia was absolutely beautiful. She was the kind of beautiful I always wished I could be. But it was her confidence that blew me away. She was comfortable with herself. I want to be that comfortable and confident too.
Endometriosis overcame all odds and had three children after trying for over ten years. How she loves them and pours into their lives inspires me.
Depression persevered through so many hard days. I know her well, I can see she still battles. But she’s such a warrior. When she smiles, there are laugh lines because she’s forever seeking joy.
Brain tumor was filled with faith for healing. He never wavered, and the Lord healed him. It seemed so simple, to have his child’s faith that God loves and so he heals.
There are so many stories to tell. If we could only see the many life lessons we could learn if we allow ourselves to look deeper. I’m so thankful I can learn from other people’s stories, and I pray that other people can see something valuable in mine.