Beliefnet
Inspiration Report

joannie-rochette.jpgFigure skater Joannie Rochette’s story is a difficult one to write because it’s a very personal one: Just a few days before the individual female figure skating competition was to begin, Rochette’s mother, Therese, arrived in Vancouver but suffered a sudden, massive heart attack instead.  Rochette’s father, Normand, found his wife passed out in the apartment they were staying at; he brought her to a hospital, but she passed away at 55-years-old.

Despite the unexpected, tragic news and circumstances, Rochette remained strong and decided to stay in the competition.  Hours after her mother passed away, Rochette was practicing on the ice, wiping tears away intermittenly, as all her eyes were on her.

On Tuesday night, Rochette gathered her courage and strength once more to skate in the women’s figure skating short program.  She took a few deep breaths and then began her smooth performance to soulful French music.  The audience clapped along and cheered when she landed successfully after every jump.  It was hard not to be touched by her beautiful skating and by the audience’s overwhelming support.  At a time when she could have easily given up skating to grieve, she remained poised and confident instead.  Only at the end of her performance did she broke down in tears; every emotion she was holding back came out, but the crowd reception was amazing.  Her performance placed her in the top three behind Olympic favorites Yu-Na Kim (South Korean) and Mao Asada (Japan).

The insane story about the troubled man who flew his plane into a building last Thursday also brought some heroes to the rescue as the building burned.  Robin De Haven, a 28 year old Iraq war veteran, was one of them.

 

Andrew Joseph Stack III, and one other person were killed when Stack literally flew into a rage and slammed a small plane into the Echelon 1 building, which housed IRS offices. This was reportedly related to Stack’s anger at the IRS.

 

De Haven was driving the company truck to a job when he noticed the scene and he drove toward it, propping a latter against the building and helping five people escape.

Authorities have credited stories of heroism like De Haven’s for keeping the death toll so low in Thursday’s crash.  Read more on AOL.

This inspiring story arrived in the form of a chain letter e-mail this morning. Please pass this link along to friends.

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

‘When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?’

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. ‘I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.’

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘Do you think they’ll let me play?’ I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, ‘We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.’

Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again.

Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do the others let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher. The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game. Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, ‘Shay, run to first! Run to first!

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.  Everyone yelled, ‘Run to second, run to second!’  Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.

By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball. The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. All were screaming, ‘Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay’

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, ‘Run to third! Shay, run to third!’

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, ‘Shay, run home! Run home!’

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team

‘That day’, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, ‘the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world’.

Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day

AND NOW A LITTLE FOOT NOTE TO THIS STORY:

We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate. Please pass along this little spark of love and humanity. A wise person once said every society is judged by how it treats it’s least fortunate amongst them.

 

May your day, be a Shay Day.
 

Who says you can’t compete in the Olympics while carrying a baby?

At 30, Kristie Moore is five months pregnant and competing as an alternate on the Canadian team at Vancouver.  Moore is the third woman in Olympian history to compete while pregnant. She also comes from a family of curlers, her mom even curling while 7-8 months pregnant with Moore’s brother. 

Originally, Moore didn’t qualify to be on the Canadian team, but she was notified to be part of the team weeks after finding out she was pregnant.

For the most part, curling is a safe sport unless there are (rare) crashes between players. As of now, Moore is sitting on the sidelines more than playing, but she will have to participate if Canada is to reach and qualify for the gold medal.Watch a video of Kristie Moore being interviewed and learn more about curling: