Today was our county's Special Olympics event. The day initially threatened rain, with a fine mist and drizzle making the stadium bleachers slick and too wet to sit on. It could not, however, dampen the spirits of the contestants and buddies who came to celebrate life, or the winning spirits of so many kids who...from many people's standards...had been cheated in life.
The group of excited, smiling, and dedicated special athletes demonstrated so much more class and passion for their scheduled track and field events than I have seen among many in the general high school population in some time. The truth is, these kids have not been cheated. They have embraced their challenges, they have overcome so many obstacles, and they have won hearts and loyalty from so many volunteers.
They are loved. It is something of a mirror image love, reflecting back to them as they shine on all of us. Their hearts are pure. No animosity, no jealousy, no bitterness. So many demonstrate an unequivocally, unconditional love we know only for our children, or receive from our pets. Watching a young man sprint for 50 yards, struggling before reaching the finish line, only to find a burst of energy to cross victorious, and fling himself into his mother's arms was heartwarming.
There were many moments of blurred vision as my eyes teared at the accomplishments and pride shown by these hardworking young men and women. The entire crowd celebrated with each success, devoted entirely to making the day both memorable and fulfilling.
I know it was for me.
A warm country hug to all,