Thursday’s sweet blessings

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 4, 2016

Thursday morning was certainly cold, dreary and a bit rainy.
However, if you were at the Picayune Memorial High School football field, the weather conditions were of little consequence.
I attended my first Special Olympics event and was blown away by the attendance of not only participants, but volunteers as well. But you can read more about that in tomorrow’s lifestyle section.
Since I have written a number of stories about the residents at Bridgeway and Millbrook, quite a few of them recognized me and took a moment say hello.
Thursday was no exception. Many of them smiled and waved and we even chatted like old friends.
One in particular shared a wonderful story with me.
Her name is Rita and a couple of weeks ago I interviewed her about how she likes living at Bridgeway. I took her picture and she was excited to hear it would be on the front page of the newspaper.
After the events ended Thursday, Rita told me she has a copy of the article stored in a safe place, her Bible.
Well, since the morning’s events already had me almost in tears, her statement pushed me over the edge.
I didn’t really know how to respond, except to say “how sweet” about ten times.
She said she is referred to as a star now, which I believe she was before her picture appeared in the paper.
She is an avid participant in Special Olympics and her wall is adorned with all her medals and ribbons.
I can’t begin to express the amount of joy I witnessed on the faces of the athletes.
I must commend the members of Picayune’s Kiwanis Club for hosting this event year after year. I saw many of them out there cheering and running along beside participants.
I also must commend the county’s first responders and Picayune Memorial High School students who also volunteered at the event.
I definitely won’t forget my first Special Olympics.

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