My Mentor, Adviser and Teacher – Sherry’s Mom

The most important person I can recall; the one who gave me hope.  The one I knew I could call at any time and get answers just happened to live 3 streets over.  She had a girl with Spina Bifida, Sherry.  I had hope because of her.  Sherry went to a school, just up the street.  She was in high school when Mel was very young.  She was in regular classes and had an ordinary life.  Now in all truths her life was full of the same medical stuff but because she was older, her mom had done it before and thus I trusted her words, ideas and suggestions.  I valued her existence.

I remember the trip to her home to see how her mom and dad had made the restroom more wheelchair friendly.  She also had this long winding curve of a front walk up to her home.  It was of course so Sherry could push up the hill to the front door.

I remember Sherry had sisters.  Regular kids who seemed nice

I remember asking the neighborhood high school kids about Sherry.  They said she was nice but that she used her disability to get her out of doing things. They felt she could do more.

I first remember Sherry at a wheelchair basketball event at the local High School. She had lots of other teenagers around her.

I remember at some point Sherry had to have a rod put in her back.  I do not know when but I remember her mom telling me it had to come out.  Sherry was having a reaction to the metal in the rods.

I remember driving up to the bank and seeing her mom in the lane next to me.  Sherry was in college.

I remember learning she had a job.  Not a glamour job but a real job.

I remember seeing her mom at Wal-Mart. Sherry was getting married.

You see Sherry’s mom and I were not best friends; we actually have only spoken maybe 20 times.  However, she was a mom of a child that was older, healthy and for some reason I knew I could walk up that windy path any time, any day and she would open that door and help.

Starfish Poem    One day an old man was walking down the beach just before dawn. In the distance he saw a young man picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back into the sea. As the old man approached the young man, he asked, “Why do you spend so much energy doing what seems to be a waste of time?” The young man explained that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun. The old man exclaimed, “But there must be thousands of starfish. How can your efforts make any difference?” The young man looked down at the starfish in his hand and as he threw it to safety in the sea, he said,” It makes a difference to this one!” – Sorry I do not know who first wrote this. 

 Thanks to those that make a difference in our kids lives. 


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