That’s what the kids in High School called my sister.
They made fun of her in Choir class
Laughed at her in the hallways.
Who said “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”?
She had one incredible gift.
She could sing. She sang at church. She sang at home. Singing helped her forget the meanness in the world for just a little while.
But, it wasn’t enough.
Day by day a bit of her was dying inside. My Mom and Dad knew that had to do something.
They didn’t know anything about homeschooling. Talking to the principal didn’t really help.
So, Mom and Dad started their own school. They worked with an individualized curriculum-based program called ACE.
Pretty radical, right?
I think it saved my sister’s life.
Bonus. The company that made the curriculum held conventions where students competed in in music, sports, various mediums of art and even checkers.
“It was unbelievable,” Mom told me several months later while we ate toast for breakfast, “Your sister was called up to the platform for a female solo award.”
“Finally,” I said, “Something good.”
Then, Mom told the rest of the story.
All the winners made their way to the platform. Fourth place, and then third place received a ribbon. They sat down. Only first and second place were left.
Three girls waited for only two awards.
Second place was called.
Then, “first place goes to…”
The girl beside my sister stepped up to get her ribbon.
My sister stood alone.
While the next category of winners was called she slipped past them on the way to her seat.
“It was like she was invisible,” Mom said.
“What a bunch of idiots,” I banged the salt shaker against the kitchen table, “How can Christians be so stupid? How could they treat my sister this way?
· Life wasn’t fair.
· People were flawed.
· Only God was truly just and truly good.
But, that didn’t stop the anger from swelling in my chest.
I imagined squashing
· the taunting classmates
· the distracted master of ceremonies at school competition
· anyone else who helped with awards
like they were a couple of June bugs.
I wanted to fix my sister’s disappointment.
My sister needed a friend to talk to. Someone to hang out with.
Sometimes just sharing in the pain of another person is enough.
*Stay tuned for Monday’s part three – Dancing with Disappointment – when courage cuts in.