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Life Arts    H3'ed 8/18/09

Eunice Shriver - A Stroke of Genius

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"Oh look,' I whispered to my teacher, daughter-in-law. "There is a Downs child with her mother!"
Amazingly, we had been discussing Sarah Palin and her dumb comments about death panels when it came to health care strategies under one of the plans being considered in Congress. The little girl was as cute as a bug and appeared to be about 5 years old. The mother had to have had plenty of money, since the cafe we were in was not that cheap. The lowest costing entree was about 9 dollars. The little girl sat across from us and one table down.
Suddenly the girl jumped up and headed straight for me.
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"Ah ho!" I warned my daughter-in-law, Jill. "Here she comes!" And, boy, did she come. The girl brought with a great big hug. As she hugged my neck, I hugged her. She reached up and felt of my white beard.
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"Oh, I'm sorry she's acting this way," said the mother who got up to retrieve her errant daughter. "It must be the beard that attracted her." Santa Claus!
"That's fine," I told the mother. "She's a wonderful girl," I finished as the mother escorted her daughter back to her seat, and Jill and I continued to talk about Palin's "death panels."
The waiter brought us our meals, but hardly did he deliver them, than the little girl came running back over for another hug. Her mother retrieved her with another apology. It is a fact, though, that I have spent about 20 years sponsoring our school's Special Olympics team at the Oklahoma State Special Olympics at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, the first of each May. It is possible that the little girl sensed my experiences and that was why she so readily found me.
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As we started to leave, the girl came one more time, the fourth time, for a final hug. I asked her her name but she didn't answer; so I asked her mother what her name was and how old she was.
"Her name is Faith, and she is 6 years old," the mother said, as she excitedly thanked me for paying some, unoffensive, attention to her youngster.
"Have you taken her to Special Olympics?" I asked the mother.
"No," she replied.
"You need to. It's a wonderful experience for the children and the parents alike," I said as we stood up to leave.
The first Oklahoma State Special Olympics I went to, wasn't that exciting to me; but after the first one, the rest of them were all a thrill to be a part of. And Eunice Shriver? Her brain-storming idea for our Special Citizens was a stroke of genius that has spread world-wide. The experience is worth it for anyone who volunteers each year to support their state's Special Olympics and its Special Olympians; and I resent Palin's ignorance of the efforts of the Kennedy family, as they support this wonderful activity for thousands of U. S. citizens. Oh, if the Palins could have even a small fragment of the success that the liberal Kennedys have had for the challenged handicapped around the world.


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Is a 34 year retired educator with a Masters Degree in Counseling - a free-lance writer with articles in Spanish and English Guideposts, Mothering, Oklahoma Observer, Oklahoma Gazette, Westview, Oklahoma Reader, The Lookout, Christian Standard, (more...)
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