Tag Archives: Special Olympics

I Just Had To Share

I usually try to refrain from posting too many entries on here during one day, but I really could not help myself.

As I was checking out a few of the stories on CNN.com today, I noticed that they had a link to an article that talked about Ann Coulter’s uneducated use of the word “retard” the other night during the Presidential debate.  That in itself is no reason to share, and really something that we all should have expected in response to Coulter’s hate.No, what I want to share is a sweet letter penned (ok, typed) by Special Olympian John Franklin Stephens.  You can read his entire letter here, but I wanted to share some of the more touching parts.  For a frame of reference, Mr. Stephens is a Special Olympian with Down Syndrome.

I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.

Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.

Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.

and finally…

Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.

Amen, Mr. Stephens.

John Franklin Stephens

A special weekend

As I wrote recently, I have become a big fan of Thursdays.  But, like most everybody else, weekends are still the best part of the week.  And this weekend was even more special.

Friday started off with a small meltdown by Kaitlyn on the way to school.  About 3 minutes from her school, and 15 minutes from home, she decided that she had indeed wanted to bring something for breakfast to early morning.  Problem.  She was getting really upset in a hurry, and I did what I could to calm her down, but nothing worked.  As we pulled into the parking lot, I looked down and remembered that I had brought some crackers with me so I could have something to eat when I got to work.  I realized right then that the only thing I could do to avert what would ultimately be a terrible day for Kaitlyn would be to offer my breakfast to her.  She gladly accepted and went about her day, and Friday was off to a good start.

Despite intense heat and humidity, Saturday was amazing.  We woke up early with a plan in place, and that was to head over to a local high school for the Special Olympics games.  Amber and I were excited to support the amazing athletes out there, and Kaitlyn was excited to, as she put it, “see Mr. Ryan!”  Our friend Ryan was the Grand Marshal for the opening of the games, and he and one of his sons, Caedmon, led the athletes onto the track.  Caedmon did the honors of starting the games with an exciting “go,” and the athletes were ready to compete.  As for us, we made a quick trip home to relax for a minute and then head to kickball at the Miracle Field.  There was quite a crowd for the kickball game, and everyone did a great job.  Kaitlyn had a great time playing with her friends Caedmon, Jackson, Andrew, and Toby.  After kickball, we joined the Spragues at TCBY to cool off and relax.  It was a long day in the heat, but a great day.  All of us were sleeping quite early Saturday night.

Sunday brought my birthday, and it was an amazing birthday.  Kaitlyn woke me up with a card and a “happy birthday daddy.”  After some breakfast, I figured I would go for a run.  I had already started to knock the new off of my new running shoes, and needed to log some extra miles in them before they were ready to race in.  Since Kaitlyn has a new-found love of running, I asked her if she wanted to join me for a little bit; she could not get dressed and into her “fast shoes” quick enough.  We ran a short distance together and I brought her back home so that I could run a little more.  Amber and Kaitlyn made me a special birthday cake, and I cannot wait to dive into it headfirst.  I have a special wife and daughter, and I am lucky every day to have them.

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