Mark stood looking on as
the bad boys of the apartments were throwing mud balls at the apartment
of someone they did not like. The dark mud made ugly spots on the white
bricks. As if somehow the man inside had heard he was now out of the
door like a rambling bear. The kids who were comparable to the Dead Inn
kids of an old movie instantly slipped out of his grasp and away. Only
Mark who was around five years old and much smaller was left there. The
man grabbed his arm and started to shake him.
"Hey! Stop that, he
wasnít involved. Leave him alone." I didnít think about the man being
big and burly. All that crossed my mind was that he was hurting my
In a rolling walk the man
was headed toward me now. "Oh yeah? Well, maybe you want some of it,
too." He was glaring at me from across the complex and was quickly
True, I was afraid. I
have brothers and I know about the strength of men, even small men, and
this was not a small man.
From behind me, suddenly
down the steps a good looking, trim, smaller man, came rushing down.
"Say! Maybe you would
like to pick on a man instead of kids and women." There was a fire and
strength about this wiry looking person. His hair was dark and curly and
as he ran his hand through it almost as if was readying himself for a
challenge. His stance was sure, as if to say, "Just come on over here."
Something about his
attitude must have stopped the cowardly man across from us. This man met
his match and more. With not a word he backed away and disappeared back
into his own apartment.
The incident was sobering
as far as I was concerned. It made me think. It was too much to try to
keep my son confined to an apartment but as I had feared he was at risk
and the reality of this happening confirmed my fears. My thoughts went
to adults harming him but there was a fear of the bigger boys who ran
wild about the place, too. In a few days these were the oneís to make us
decide to look for something out of the Garland area possibly into the
countryside. Their threats and jerking of my son about while he was
playing gave me reason to believe there was, indeed, a dangerous
situation which potentially could be harmful.
This was only the
beginning of my learning how my children around Rhonda would be
persecuted. It was a strange thing. Individuals couldnít come up against
her personally but they could attack her brother, my son, or later on,
her younger sister. How my other children managed to survive not only
with the small people who troubled them but later, greater forces from
above caused sometimes a desperate situation. The attacks on my well
children became a harder issue to confront than my daughterís
disability. It was more insidious and cruel.
"We have to protect our
other children!" These were the excuses people gave for putting a child
away. I never listened to that and Iím glad I didnít. Children around
disabled siblings learn to cope with adversity early. They learn to
stand up for what is right not only on the issue of protecting someone
but on larger issues as well.
Not to say we didnít go
through some horrendous times for which I never knew were going to turn
out or not. Little did I know of that almost defeating battle ahead for
me in this realm with my other children, who were not injured.
Itís only fair to record
that if a person wishes to do well for their family, handicapped and all
they should be prepared to fight the battle of their life. It was only
Christ Jesus who recognized the abject need the people had for healing.
His life he gave by setting these examples and for saving us from so
much hurt; yet, how many today are willing to do the same.
"Shall we do some driving
in the country to see if we can find anything?" Rodney was as willing as
I was to get out of the high dollar location and even though it was
beautiful the place was no longer for us.
"In what direction shall
we look?" I was trying to think about the best way to go.
"Weíll just let the road
lead us as we follow our nose." Rodney grinned.
"Iím so thankful you can
look at this as some kind of an adventure," I told him, and it was true,
I really did consider myself fortunate to have him with me and for us.
"Iíve been reading in the
paper about how the Plano schools are working with the new government
Special Education programs." I commented.
"Oh really! Well, weíll
just march the column out in that direction." I often laughed at
Rodneyís comparing his car to a column of troops in the Marines.
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