Monday, February 16, 2009

Alvin Law

I had to smile this morning when I opened the paper. There was a picture of Alvin Law and his wife. If you don't know who he is, I suggest you check out his website. You won't be sorry.

When I was growing up, everyone around my house knew Alvin Law. Not sure if it was because he was sort of a local celeb in Saskatchewan, or because my older brother, who had Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy (a terminal genetic disorder) went to Easter Seals Summer Camp with Alvin for many summers, as well as both being involved in the Telemiracles in Saskatoon.

I crossed paths with him again about 10 years ago. He is now a motivational speaker for schools, and he spoke at the junior high I was teaching at. He is very good at what he does. The kids were captivated. As was the staff. I actually had to leave the gym at one point... it hit a little too close to home and I needed a breather.

That was the moment that his photo in the paper brought me back to this morning. At one point in his talk, he asks the audience to close their eyes and he starts to play a song on the piano with his toes. You have your eyes closed. You hear beautiful piano music. You KNOW that he is on stage alone and playing with his feet, yet the wonder of that moment doesn't hit you until you open your eyes and actually SEE it.

Alvin Law had so many hardships and so many strikes against him, and yet, he found a way to do things that people did not think possible. He did them as only he knew how. With no arms, he did things with his feet. He knew nothing else in life. He just did.

I know, Matthew's problems pale in comparison to what Alvin faced, and still faces. But yet, in a small way, I related them this morning.

Matthew was playing in the basement. His laughter took me away from my morning coffee and paper. I followed it and found him at the foot of the stairs kicking a ball up to the top, laughing as only a child enjoying life can. He would drop the ball and up the stairs it would fly.

At first, all I saw was his foot. Standing on the side of it, twisted and unbalanced. It looked awful, and yet, he was doing as all 6 year old boys do. Then, I heard the ball hit the top and heard his laughter as the ball came back down.

Matthew taught me yet another lesson this morning. There are many paths to a goal. Sometimes you need to close your eyes and listen. The laughter tells you when to open your eyes to the wonder.


Jennifer said...

You are getting little signs all along your journey. Showing you that you are on the right path. He sounds wonderful. I will be checking his site out.

Urbane Ones said...

I remember Alvin has been years since I've seen him speak!

He really is inspiring.

I totally understand what you mean about looking past all the "issues" we are forced to contend with in our kids and seeing their joy and adaptability.

Sometimes it is just such an eye-opener.

Love the new picture at the top of your blog...:)

MommyCommunity said...

Isn't it amazing how kids look at things differently and how little things make them so happy?

tara @ kidz said...

Loved the last paragraph. What a great lesson. We all need to learn that - unfortunately many of us (ahem, me) need to learn it many times over!