Dear Christmas Spirit,
Yesterday while enjoying a burger and fries courtesy of In-n-Out, an older lady asked if she minded if she and her friend could sit next to me. My reply was, “No ma’am” with a smile. We chatted for a bit about Christmas and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season before she made her way to the counter to pick up her order.
As she was leaving, her friend made her way to the table to join us. The lady was in her 60’s and appeared to be mentally disabled, possibly Down Syndrome. I ask her how she was and how her day was going and she replied, “Hi! my name is Gayle. My day has been really good!” I laughed and smiled at the enthusiasm that was in here voice. We chatted about Christmas, the beauty of an In-n-Out fry and other things having to do with the holidays.
This led into some intimate details about her life. She explained she wasn't that into the Christmas spirit as much since she lost her husband of forty years recently. Gayle then proceeded to reveal more about herself and the life she has lived.
She informed me that when she was 7 years old her mom decided that she couldn't raise a child with a disability and wanted to put her in a home. It is what here mother said to her next and Gayle’s response is what made me want to cry, show anger and smile all at the same time.
Her mother said…..”You are retarded, and I don't want you” to which Gayle responded…”You’re the one who is retarded for wanting to give up on your child.”
Think about it….How evil must one be to say that to someone they are suppose to love and nurture? Especially to not only a child, but one with a disability. Insert anger and sadness here.
It was her response to such a heinous act by a parent that was both remarkable and inspirational, especially for a child at such a young age. True grit in the face of adversity.
As I continued to process what she had just told me, she proceeded to let me know that she was then raised by other family members and always remembered the words her mother uttered to her when she found herself experiencing hardship in her life as motivation. Insert smile here.
Gayle, thank you for both the conversation and putting a smile on my face. It was a gift that didn't need to be bought and wrapped, only the ability to open up and share a life changing story with a neighbor. You have reminded me that there is still hope for humanity in this world. God Bless and Merry Christmas…
Ps. Happy holiday peeps! May you find yourself surrounded by family and loved ones this weekend and remember…..The world needs more stories like the one above, and less of everything else. Heard that.
#Christmas #inspiration #holiday #season #innout #gayle #thankyou #empireliving