It's 1993. As you head to your college class, you see that funny brown-headed girl trip going up the stairs. You giggle to yourself and are thankful you are not as clumsy as her. You saw her tripping earlier that day. You say something to her about watching her step. She just smiles and laughs and says something about not trying out for the dance team anytime soon.If you read this when I first posted it in April, please scroll to the bottom for a new message.
It's 2009. As you make your weekly trek to Target, you see that girl from college again. She is in her mid-thirties now and you are surprised to see her get out of the car in the handicapped parking spot. She doesn't look handicapped to you. You remember her being a little clumsy, but handicapped? Please. You are wondering where she was lucky enough to snag one of those handicapped parking placards. You ask her because you are feeling cantankerous and grumpy. She just smiles and laughs and says something about finding it on sale at the dollar store.
It's 2011. At lunch, you see the same girl again. This time she is eating with her teenage son. As you head toward the ladies room, you see that she is doing the same. She is swaying a bit, though, and you shake your head in disbelief. What type of girl gets drunk with her teenage son at lunch? Because you are still cantankerous and grumpy while the two of you are washing your hands, you ask her if she always gets drunk with minors. She just smiles and laughs and says something about it being one of her favorite hobbies.
You never see the girl again. She comes to your mind on occasion when you see other seemingly able bodied people emerge from handicapped parking spots or drunks. You are sooooo glad you are not like them.
You are wrong.
That girl is my friend.
She has Multiple Sclerosis.
And her name is Kelly, too.
She is selfless.
She is an inspiration.
And I thought you would want to meet her.