I was checking Facebook as I always do several times a day and saw the following status that had been shared…
Thank A Farmer · October 20, 2012
“Today at the State Fair of Texas I witnessed something very inspirational and a I think a great lesson for us all. The Longhorn Show was in the cattle ring and as I walked through the building I noticed this young girl of around 12 years old showing a young longhorn. You can see from the photo she has a disability but yet she was out there showing with everyone else. Nobody was leading her steer for her. Nobody was giving her special treatment. Even though she walks with two crutches she used just one because she needed her show stick to set up her steer. It wasn’t easy for her to walk the huge ring, but she did it just like the rest of the kids and didn’t cut corners. She is a wonderful reminder that life isn’t always easy, but it’s not about what we can’t do. Life is about what we can do!” ~ Rhonda Ross Thank A Farmer
There was a picture of a little girl with brown hair in braids, braces on her legs and supporting her left side was a pink for-arm crutch. In her right hand her black show stick and a lead rope that lead to the halter of a young longhorn.
I of course clicked like and share adding my own statement “Awesome and Inspirational.” As I reflect back on the picture and statement, I think of my mother and how unfortunate it was that she grew up being put down and told she couldn’t do anything because she was crippled.
My mother was born in Waxahachie, Texas on February 7, 1953 with a deformity. Club Foot was the medical terminology used to describe her tiny little feet on that Saturday. Club foot is a deformity that affects more than 4,000 babies in the United States every year.
When she was born, her left foot had developed fully but was slightly turned outward. Her right foot was turned almost completely backwards and flopped like a rag doll with little bone structure to support it. The cure was a very painful and long process starting with cast on her tiny little feet within weeks of being born. The process would continue with countless surgeries, physical therapy and corrective shoes until she was in her teens.
The doctors told her parents she would never walk. This was the beginning of the lack of encouragement. My mother did walk, she was a determined little girl but her self-esteem and confidence was never nurtured leading her to never believing in herself and always allowing others to make decisions for her.
So in retrospect I say GOOD FOR THAT GIRL’S PARENTS!
Raising and showing livestock not only gives kids responsibility but it gives them a since of accomplishment, pride and confidence. They teach a baby calf, pig, lamb, goat, horse or etc. to lead, stand, and walk in front of a crowd of people in a loud barn and if they are lucky the judge picks them in a lineup of winners.
But for a differently abled child it gives them so much more. They learn they can do anything as long as they set their mind to it. It may take them longer and more tries but as long as they have support they can make it.
My mother set out on a mission to prove to her parents, brothers, aunts and uncles she could do anything and on her journey she has roofed houses, built restaurants, upholstered furniture, and even went to college. But the most important thing she has accomplished is teaching me to keep down that trail to your dreams and goals no matter what the obstacles are! I love you mom!