The original article-
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…was my childhood friend. She was a huge part of my life as a child and anyone who knows me can tell you this. She was my best friend. We were inseparable.
I’m sure her family got sick of me. I was ALWAYS over at their house…ALWAYS! But so was everyone else in the neighborhood. Their house was that house, you know the one, the one house where all the kids congregate. Anyway… as I said, Bobbie and I were inseparable…I even went on trips and vacations with them. I loved it. They were so kind to me, so loving and accepting.
Bobbie had a physical disability, though you’d never know it by the way she lived her life. The best way to describe her disability is to say she was born without a femur in her left leg, putting her knee where her hip was supposed to be. This required the use of an artificial leg. But, this didn’t slow her down in the slightest.
She learned how to ride a bike, and we rode all over town, me with two good legs and her one! She loved to go swimming at the local public pool, even though it required her to take off her leg. People did stare, of course. But it didn’t bother her. If it did, she didn’t let on. Once in a while, she’d make a sassy comment to someone, but in a fun, lighthearted way.
Well, when we were in high school, her family moved about 6 hours away. It was awful! We kept in touch, for awhile, but slowly we lost contact. Then, on March 17, 1992, St. Patrick”s Day, I got a phone call from Bobbie’s Grandmother. Bobbie, along with her Fiance and their 2 dogs were hit head on by a drunk driver and killed instantly. I was devastated. The world had lost a wonderful soul, but she had left her mark.
She had taught me and everyone around her some valuable lessons. I learned so much from Bobbie, about life, about myself, about confidence and attitude. I learned to be open minded and patient, accepting and kind. She embodied all of the quotes I have included above. She focused on what she could do, not what she couldn’t do. It didn’t occur to her to let her disability slow her down.
I remember her often, as my life has continued on. I remember her when I struggle, or I’m frustrated. I remember her when I’m around disabled people. She taught me not to treat them differently. They’re just people, like you and me. They may have a physical disability, that can be seen by everyone, but we all have disabilities…our’s just aren’t as obvious to other people.
Having her as a friend changed my life, my attitude, my views about people and my outlook on life. I may have only been a child and teen, but she formed so much of the person I am today. I am so grateful she was part of my life. I can honestly say she was my hero and inspiration. She was truly a gift from God.
In memory of my friend, I’d like to introduce you to Nico, a boy with 1 leg. Watch this short 2:11 video, as Nico grows and does incredible things. May he, and Bobbie, inspire you to focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do. ENJOY!