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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Finding the special

Sometimes the special has a way of finding me.

I was home Friday, while Joanna worked and the boys slept, and I turned PBS on to wind down for the night.  Attempting to do a couple things at the same time, the television content proved little more than background music at first.  Our local PBS was airing a concert of famous Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli.

Bocelli's voice was great and I looked up to watch him share a duet with a female singer.  Mid-song the female singer kind of danced to the beat, as Bocelli just stood there motionless while she moved.  I thought that was a weird interaction between the two.  As I continue to watch, I keep noticing these "awkward" moments, so I decided to google him.

Forgive me for living the past 20 years under a rock, but I had no idea Bocelli, the man whom I understood to be among classical singing's elite, is also blind!  Admittedly I've never claimed to be a huge fan of his, nor classical music, aside from a general appreciation for all things beautiful.  Obviously my fascination was piqued.

It was a great feeling listening to a man, regarded among the best, whose blindness is considered an afterthought.  His voice and talent drew me in, rather than his disability.  To me, it proved what Joanna and I believe; the standard by which we judge Jude's excellence should be no different than any other standard of excellence.  Excellence is excellence.

Some further digging alerted me to the decision Bocelli's mother faced, while pregnant, when a physician encouraged the expectant mother to abort her child because he'd be born, likely, disabled.  Obviously she carried the pregnancy through to birth and her son, Andrea, stands as proof that disabilities equals not inability.

There are many more things I will never accomplish than I ever will, but no one will call me disabled, likely.  Jude, too, will find many things he is unable to accomplish.  In the end though, all we ask of our son, and it is what we ask of each of our children, is simply to accomplish one thing and do it, like Bocelli, excellently.

St. Jude: Pray for us.

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