Jude, Barris, and I after a run in the neighborhood.
So many of you have commented on Sophia’s blog last week that I immediately started formulating a blog to highlight my brothers role in my life. Jude and I are just 2 years apart but I feel that we have a bond much like that of twins. Jude is dwelling in a open world where imagination runs free and friendship follows him like a dog follows his master. Dreaming daily is his past time but all his dreams seem to formulate before our eyes. He still acts surprised but I no longer get excited by the surprise as I already know the power of his dreams. I only dream eyes to the future because he inspires me to try it. Me, I am like him, I just stopped dreaming years ago. Only this past year I have started seeing myself happy in this world. My story is changing, my song is not sung yet, as I am seeing my imagination live and my dreams formulate as Jude’s does. Jude is great energy to have around when things seem bleak. Fear is not his friend. He is hopeful, lovable and sweet. I am grateful just to call him my brother. He makes me feel as if he needs me, even though I know he really doesn’t.
I know my personal experience made him more serious, but I know he is a kid at heart through and through. I love his obsession with Star Wars and his vast knowledge of the animal kingdom. Jude is strong, confident and kind, all the things I admire. Everyday he takes a moment to make sure I am not feeling down. My soul yearns for him to be proud of me as I am of him. I just do my best and that is good enough for him. Jude is the man!
This is my sister, Sophia. She is such an artist, with paint and with personality. She helps me so much in areas that I am weak. Almost everyday she finds joy and happiness in the smallest things. Things like catching a beautiful butterfly and then letting it go, or picking a flower and giving it to someone to make them feel special. She brings light to so many people. I enjoyed going to this lake with her as we chased ducks and watched them play and swim. She is never shy or afraid of an adventure. I love her enthusiasm for life. She also is so interested in helping me with my weaknesses. She even helps me with therapies and sees my life as one of purpose.
Everyone is unique in strengths and weaknesses. It’s the combination and blending of these in friendships that make life so fascinating and enjoyable. I enjoy people who are unique or even odd to some, because they are not predictable and less boring. Sophia is certainly not boring. Those who are unique yet are integrated into society, in my opinion, we must treat them as gems, for that is what they are. Everyone can take a little strength from their friends who are different, but not if your friends are all the same as you. Under pressure to be accepted we sometimes pretend to be strong when in reality we are weak. This robs us from the opportunity to rub shoulders with somone who could help us grow out of our weaknesses, to be stronger. I cannot afford to pretend to be someone I am not. I need help with my weaknesses so I wouldn’t jeapardize that opportunity for growth for a false sense of approval.
My sister, Sophia, has certainly helped me see life as an exciting journey, revealing the beauty of friendship and acceptance of everyone. She has taken an odd shaped “cake” like me, and artfully decorated me to be more appealing. A true artist she is. We may be just the ingredient someone around us needs to be more beautiful on the inside or out by just being who we are. Sophia intelligently recognizes me as different, yet she loves me regardless of my limitations. Not your average 7 year old sister. To me, she is priceless. Just follow her example of meeting the needs of others while being beautiful, genuine, and young, with only joy and happiness in view everyday. We just might open our lives to a little more light, like Sophia.
I recently received an email from my Aunt Nellie asking me questions about how I have adjusted to my new service dog, Barris. She had just read an article about a man who had been blind from birth but grew up to be a successful business owner, husband, and father. I too had read the experience in the November 15, 2015 Awake magazine, which featured a picture of this man with his service dog, Dante. The blind man admitted it was hard at first to entrust his safety to his dog. But with the help of his dog he could go anywhere without the need for his wife to accompany him. I don’t have the need for Barris to see for me, but he certainly has made it easy to trust him with my safety in public, which is often a confusing overwhelming place for me sound wise. I have always enjoyed dogs from a distance, but Barris has helped me understand body language of dogs and of people as well. I am more redeemed when I am connected to others, rather than just focusing on the many different sounds around me. Just like horses, I find Barris to be predictable, hard working, and loyal. If we all felt safe walking around we would definitely be happier. I know I am, with my dog next to me. I appreciate when articles are written about individuals who overcome a struggle in life with hard work, supportive family, and hope for a better world. I am including the link for anyone who wants to read this amazing story. I am grateful for people who encourage understanding for those with some sort of disability to be successful happy people regardless of being different. I am different, and if this blind man can do it, so can I. I would like to say I am on my way. Just remember everyone is independent from judgement when everyone is viewed the same.
Thanks Aunt Nellie for your questions. I love them.
Click on link to read the November 15,2015 Awake article “Living Without Sight”.
“Living Without Sight”