Is it strange that I can say someone made an impact on my life and I can’t remember their name? Actually, it was so long ago that I barely remember the whole event, but the little bit that I do remember I find extremely impactful.
It was the 80s. I generally know what year, but I just know I was at a church camp. It must have been a kids camp. I am quite fuzzy on the location and even the church group which isn’t like me, but I am looking back over thirty years here so give me a break.
Up to this point in my life I had only hung around people that looked and acted like me. So, when I met Billy (no this isn’t his name, but like I said I don’t remember it) I have to admit he wasn’t like what I expected. You see, Billy was paralyzed from the waist down and spent all of his time in a wheel chair.
The cool thing is I remember hanging around with Billy. He was a cool dude. We enjoyed each other’s company. I remember that he had an awesome sense of humor. He also had really strong arms from wheeling himself around. After the initial shock of him being a little different, we just had a good time at camp.
One night of camp I remember Billy asking me if I wanted to get a soda. I didn’t have any money. He smiled and told me not to worry. He had money and he was willing to share. We had a soda and enjoyed the events of the evening.
Now, to the impact he made on me. I remember very clearly that Billy was not a prisoner in his wheel chair. His circumstances were not ideal, but his attitude, even at that age, was far ahead of most of the folks around us. I remember clearly that he enjoyed life. He was not a victim of it. Billy had made the decision to enjoy his life despite the circumstances he found himself in.
I have no idea what happened to Billy. I never saw him again after that camp. I do remember him though. He was a shining example of someone who looked for and found the best out of life. He made an impact on me in the short time we hung around. I hadn’t thought of him until recently. I hope that he knows that he is making an impact…even thirty years later.