*Today's blog is from the Madonna Workshop*
Working with special people is always a reward. To appreciate the importance of this work, we must first understand the unique people we serve, for each individual is a gift from God. I want to tell the story of a young man and why I am thankful every day for the work that I do.
He entered the world as we all do – kicking and screaming – but something was different about this boy.
“Value your time with him,” the doctors told his mother. “He doesn’t have long to live.”
The healthy baby boy she expected was instead small – really small – even for a newborn. His legs and arms contracted 180 degrees, and he had a heart defect.
“So what?” she said, “My son is going to live.”
And guess what? He did. And not just a few years either. Thanks to the fighting spirit of a mother who wouldn’t give up, a mother who saw hope where the doctors could not, this young man fought.
Now at the age of 26, there is no question that his life was worth the struggle.
I was blessed enough to meet him four years ago when he walked into my office hoping to find work and make a little money.
The man I met that day was a little bit nervous; he already went through a lot and still relied on his mother’s strength to get along in the world. We welcomed him at the Workshop with open arms and he made fast friends.
He grew as a person every day. The once nervous young man was fast becoming a glowing reflection of the brave woman who brought him into this world, thanks in part to a big rollercoaster.
“I can’t get on that, it’s too scary,” he said, looking at the Timber Wolf from the ground below. We were at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, his first time at an amusement park.
A staff member looked at him in disbelief. “What are you afraid of? Just close your eyes and tell yourself, ‘I can do it.’”
And guess what? He did: five times! By the end of the trip, his tune had changed and the big scary ride was now the “big AWESOME ride." That nervous young man wasn’t so nervous anymore.
After that day he continued to grow, and before long he found the courage to move out of his mother’s home and into a group home. It was a transition made difficult by his love for the mother to whom he arguably owed his life, but it was important, a rite of passage – a symbol of the adult some thought he would never become.
The now brave young man found the courage to do so much. He has auditioned for and acted in a play, taken photography classes, learned to do his own laundry, and even has an aspiring career as a rapper! There is really nothing he can’t do. All he has to do is close his eyes and say, “I can do it.”
And guess what? He does – every single day.
(c) Guest Bloggers Robin Moses and Ryan Garza