Every year on Oscar night an actor who came from nothing takes the stage to accept his award. He’s the guy who tries to inspire the audience, explaining how he grew up in the hood, or without a father. You feel for the guy. Even if you think he possesses little talent, you have to give him kudos for breaking out of the bubble of poverty and abuse to pursue his dream. He closes his speech with a familiar line…
“If I can do it…”
Sometimes, though, we’re sent links to sites like Life Without Limbs, and read the story of Nick Vujicic, who strives to inspire everyone and anyone. From convincing teenage outcasts that they’re worthy of love, that they are beautiful, to inspiring prisoners to make a commitment to change their lives, it’s difficult to listen to him speak without shedding a few tears.
Last month I found myself sitting in the front row, in a crowded auditorium (just feet away from Tom Berenger, by the way), crying. My husband – the first blind feature film director – was accepting the Achievement in Cinema award at the Gasparilla International Film Festival.
I shed not tears of joy (despite the fact that it was the proudest I’ve been), but rather those of self-reflection. You see, he didn’t know he had to speak, and when he let me in on the news, we didn’t discuss it at all. I had no clue what he was going to say.
My husband never ceases to amaze me. He consistently breaks the perceived mold of those who cannot see. He gets a lot of, “Oh, I’m so sorry” and “your wife really loves you.” Yes, I’m serious. Last week a woman told me that I’m a saint for “taking such good care of him”. Little do they know…
This Friday I want to share my husband’s speech, which has thus far been circulating mostly on self-help and therapy web sites. I share it not so much because he’s the man working in an office just 30 feet from mine, but because of his message.
I’ve always known my husband is a man who intends to live his life without limits. But, like that traditional, “If I can do it…” quote, I’m just used to him pushing the envelope – so much that these words were simply never expected.
Please do let me know what you think.