If you’re like me, you occasionally host your own pity party. “Why is this happening to me?”; “Why can’t I do what I want?”
Last week I interviewed Diane Nutz who, for more than 2 decades, has cared for individuals who have far more right to complain than I do. We may define these people as “handicapped” or “disabled”; Diane refers to them as “the population of the unique”.
It was at a high school football game in the 1960’s when Diane encountered “Carol” who wanted to be a cheerleader. Diane encouraged, “You can be anything you want to be…”
Carol replied, “My dad says I can’t because I’m retarded.”
Years later, Diane found herself substituting in the special education department of the school system. One day she was asked if she’d work with handicapped students. She said, “yes.”
Twenty plus years since then, Diane continues to serve the population of the unique because of what she’s gained:
- Being of service
- Becoming a better person
- Identifying blessings in her life
- Filling a need
Diane’s job requires physical strength and stamina. Especially when caring for disabled quadruplets from infancy. Her routine includes tube feeding, dressing them, changing diapers, etc. All before the bus comes in the morning!
Cory, a young boy with autism learned to call her “Diane says…” as a result of repeated reasoning with the reluctant youth. However, the verbalization of her new-found name warmed Diane’s heart.
That story, and others are told in my interview with Diane, which is published in my latest podcast.
We all have gifts, and Diane is thankful for the gifts she has both given and received from the population of the unique. No more pity party’s for me! Instead, I’ll look for the gifts, too.
Get Diane’s book here : Look IN Me: A Life Shaped by the Most Overlooked