My first reaction to this video was of admiration for Jennifer… naturally.
She is certainly a girl of indomitable spirit. Although the video speaks only of her victories and the encouragement she received from her family, surely there must have been days, instances, when she would be made to feel incomplete. Not by her family, no, but by others. There must have been times when people’s pity would have sapped her strength and made her feel exhausted.
Even in its darkest passages, the heart is unconquerable. It is important that the body survives, but it is more meaningful that the human spirit prevails.
~ Dave Pelzer
To have survived the sympathy of well-meaning people must have been hard. She must have felt like giving in to the comfort of low-expectations. To rise above such debilitating pity must have demanded more of her than she might have felt like giving at times. No matter how much her family supported her, she had to battle these demons alone- for they were her own demons. And she did!
Certainly, she deserves all possible accolades our admiration can summon.
Then I began to think of her parents. They adopted a child, who, they knew, would need greater care than their other three kids. They must also have considered the possibility of her being dependent on them always.
Adopting a child is not an easy decision even for a physically perfect child. It isn’t easy to make room in your heart for a child you have no shared biology with. Adopting baby Jennifer took unusual courage… and a compassion that is unfathomable by most of us ordinary humans.
But they did it… and made no song and dance about it either.
You are here to make a difference, to either improve the world or worsen it. And whether or not you consciously choose to, you will accomplish one or the other.
~Richelle E. Goodrich
On top of that, they forbid her to say CANT. When she had every excuse to… when they had every excuse to let her wallow in that word. They chose the hardest way possible. They treated her without pity. They gave her a taste of self-respect and dignity. They taught her (by example, I’m sure) not only that she deserves her place in the world but that she HAS a place. A place meant only for her; her own unique and special place.
How many of us are able to give that unshakable belief to our own imperfectly perfect children? How clearly do we see the ‘whole-ness’ of our own child… and seeing it… are able to show it to them as clearly? True empowerment happens when you see the capability and worth of another person so clearly that they are able to see it themselves. How many of us are able to empower our children and loved ones?
How enormous is the impact of Mrs and Mr Bricker! They took the lumbar of Jennifer’s life and made a temple out of it, not a tavern- or even an ordinary house. Certainly, they created immense beauty in her life.
A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.
But Jennifer isn’t the only one whose life was blessed. Each one of us, who has learned of Jennifer’s challenges and victories, will surely be changed forever. Parents will tell this story to their children. Who knows when- and where- the impact of this wonderful story finally roll to a stop. I don’t think it ever will. I pray it won’t.
This story deserves to be immortal.
Note: I accidentally published this post yesterday while it was still incomplete. Thank you for reading/ watching it again.