I remember. Clearly. Not to forget. How smooth and functional Jessica Cox is. I tried not to “WOW!” comment when she and her husband, Patrick, and I visited in their living room. During the conversation, Jessica pulled up a new box of Villa wafers, opened it without pause, lifted it and poured wafers into a bowl. Repackaged the box, set it down, looked, as if nothing was different, “Mark, please help yourself.”
She did this with her feet. She drove the car. When we prayed for a meal, she lifted her foot so her foot, Patrick’s hand and my hands were connected.
Then I remember. Early in her life she was given prosthetic arms. For a number of years. The “arms” had hooks, so finally on the day they moved to Tucson and Jessica started a new school she told her mother, Inez, and father, Bill, ‘I am wearing those fake arms no longer. Am tired of being call ‘Robot Woman.’ That’s not who I am. I am a normal person who’s learning to be creative.”
THAT’S who she is. And to that, I received an e-mail yesterday from a Class of 1958 high school classmate, Marianne Senff, who wrote this, with an inquiry. But, even more, her statement is a treasured perceptive.
“Questions: What is the percentage of people born with similar problems (meaning they’ll need to learn to do some things a bit differently than the rest of us) as your friend, Tricia’s child? Where do they get help should they need it? Or perhaps these children are the more normal ones and we are born with problems to overcome?
Thank you, Marianne…Jessica, in her heart and the manner in which she lives and functions, is so very normal…for her. Jessica won’t ever say, ‘I can’t’ and makes it clear, she is not handicapped. Not for a breath.
Marianne, your comment is apt, because people who are not accepting of who they are…well, it may be normal to them, they hold a self-pity party, but not to affirm being normal. That’s not to say we just accept how and who we are. Rather, it’s to say EACH of us needs to know within the self who we are and then live with a fullness and creative manner during which we become the best person we can be. Whether or not we like Villa wafers.