8.26.2010

This Girl




Yep, this is one of the few posts where I get a little personal. Indulge me. This is Mandy. My very first BFF. I've been thinking about her all week. And here's why:

Years ago...1996 I think, I was in Santa Monica visiting Liz. Of course I was there visiting Mandy too. Mandy and I have a long history of beach trips together and this day was no different. We went to Venice this day. I don't remember much about the day other than lunch. We decided to grab something cheap and quick at a hot dog dive along the boardwalk. It wasn't very busy, about half full of people. There was a man in a wheel chair trying kind-of unsuccessfully to eat his hot dog. It seemed like he was o.k. mentally, but he had a really hard time talking and his hands and mouth weren't working too well. He had mustard all over his face, even down his arm. He was really struggling. People were noticing his distress.

During this, he wheeled over to the counter and was trying to communicate to the worker that he wanted to buy another hot dog. The dude at the counter could not understand him. He kept trying to explain himself but it wasn't working. Mandy knew what he wanted and walked over to him, got his money out of his pocket for him, and bought his hot dog.

Then, she wiped the mustard off his face and arm and FED HIM his 2nd dog. Everyone watched her like they were watching a movie. I can't believe we didn't all stand on our tables and give her a 10 minute applause. It was one of the most self-less, truly Christian acts I've seen. She was my idol that day and I always remember that. I actually think of that sometimes when I take the sacrament on Sundays and promise to be "willing to take upon them [me] the name of thy Son, and always remember Him".

I've been thinking about this a lot because we have had a very special assignment this week in our young women's class at church. We have been helping at the Utah State Developmental Center. This is a group home for severely mentally and physically disabled people. Most of them do not walk or communicate. They are drooly and stinky and absolutely fantastic. We had a wheel chair dance with one group last night and we actually got some smiles. Which isn't easy. I've loved going there and we've got 2 more dates with them. It's a great experience to be there. They really are angels.


Everyone should at one time volunteer in a place like this. Or, volunteer in a hot dog joint some time to help someone in need, or on the street, or in the mall, or at Target. Wherever you are. Like Dieter F. said, "lift where you stand."

9 comments:

The Pratts said...

That story made my eye tear. Thanks for this post - it was beautiful and a great inspirations take it personal and lift where I stand. Thanks Em.

Anonymous said...

Just think, if we all took that little piece of advice how different this world what be.

MaryBeth said...

Oh my gosh Patterson. Thank you so much for this. I sincerely want to be a better person.

Crazymamaof6 said...

well HECK ! way to make a person bawl. (i'm hormonal but still) impressive and inspiring. WOW!

Mags [Margaret] said...

What an inspiring post, Em! Thank you, just what I needed to read today. Peace.

Kaerlig said...

Thanks Emilie. That was great to read. You should get personal more often :). Love you. And Mandy.

kel bel said...

great post. i love this story. I remember when you told it to me years ago and I've thought of it often. Miss you!

Shenay said...

Love you Mandy :)

LTD in Las Vegas said...

Mandy is awesome and a great example...wish more people would see the innersoul and not the disability.