A Place for Cheer

Few things touch my heart like the sight of a person with special needs putting their heart, soul and elbow grease into being independent. It’s up there with a newborn baby’s giggle and a hug from a small child.

The effort put forth by exceptional people is the antithesis of fully capable people, without any mental or physical disabilities, who don’t try at all. And I don’t mind telling anyone that I’ll take a person like my sister – born with a disability – who is focused and willing to work at her job until completion over a person with a bad attitude and a boatload of excuses for why they won’t work, any day.

People like my sister, Candra, inspire me to train smarter and overcome every obstacle.

Exceptional people also overwhelm me with gratitude when I’m reminded of how I was once really handicapped, unable to use my arms to wash myself or my feet to walk or my brain to stay focused on even the smallest tasks. Inside I wanted to do those most basic tasks and in time I did. It just took me a lot longer than normal.

Perhaps that’s why when I see the bright and beautiful faces of the members at ARC, Marion, Inc., and Transitions Life Center, I spark with joy, watching them enjoy life and laughing. And to witness the oil paintings, the Christmas cards, the festive bottles, and all the other crafts they create – items that could easily fill the shelves of Hobby Lobby – despite their disabilities, I can’t help but marvel at the talents God gives to all His children. It really is a beautiful sight especially when you understand the dedication and love they put into every single thing they do.

My family purchased this artwork from Cindi Owens, the artist and a member of ARC Marion, Inc., during their annual exhibit.

So if you need some cheer in your life, a treat, a gift for someone, or a simple attitude adjustment, I encourage you to attend the TLC Holiday Bazaar this Saturday, December 7th from 11 am to 3 pm at their Ocala location. Visit http://www.tlcocala.org for more information. You’ll be really glad you did. 💕

A Place for Cheer

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