Last night I briefly had the pleasure of meeting Marc Elliott.
I was at work when I opened the door for a man about my age (there is a remote button behind the desk). The man entered and was making a loud noise over and over again. As he approached the desk, he looked at me and smiled and said, "Sorry, it's Tourette's didn't mean to scare the hell out of you." I smiled back and said, "That's certainly okay, I've met scarier." He laughed and went on his way. My heart was instantly touched. I didn't know his name or story, but something spoke to me.
This morning when he checked out I found out more about him. He was in town speaking at the local university's Greek Life program on tolerance. He is a motivational speaker. Tourette's was not the first major struggle in his life. It probably won't be the last. But in my brief meeting him, his friendliness and upbeat attitude made me instantly forget those things.
I've told many, many people who would like to help my daughter that she is receiving therapy, but in the end, if she still has some meltdowns over sensory issues or if she never speaks, I am okay with that. Really, I am. But I know the rest of the world, the world that doesn't know Shelby doesn't understand her and is not always okay with her being different. I wished I had been able to hear Mr. Elliott's speech last night. It would have been wonderful to see someone living against such odds holding an audience of sorority (and yes, I am a sorority sister) and fraternity members captive. It might have given me a light too look to when I let my mind wander to what may become of Shelby as she becomes an adult.
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