Christy came to Valdosta! It was so great to have Christy time recently. I have been truly inspired by her motivation and strength in the face of challenges. My husband and Christy work together in the Air Force. I honestly didn’t know her well before her accident but have loved getting to know her since. The way she has dealt with her accident and recovery has really made an impact on me. She is the kind of person I want my son to know.
Our four-year-old son Peter has met Christy and knows about her awful accident. He went to her paddleboard fundraiser and thinks she’s awesome. Who wouldn’t? So when I heard she was coming to town, I asked her for a special favor. Peter is part of a small preschool co-op, and one of our goals is to find joy in learning in the world around us. We were learning about the joy of our bodies and the most recent lesson included inviting someone with a disability to visit. I struggled with asking Christy to come because even though she only has one leg, she doesn’t seem to have any limitations! But I realized that she could show the kids her strength and determination in overcoming the loss of her leg and the joy of being who you are. To prepare the kids, I told them that we were going to have a very special visitor who had an amazing heart and wanted to help lots of people. I added that she had a super smart brain and was also determined just like them. I told the kids that she had all the same parts as they did with one exception. Then my son Peter, who had met Christy once before, said “but she only has one leg!” The kids had lots of questions and every time I answered them in true 4-year-old style the next question was always “why?” Eventually I couldn’t answer those “why” questions but I was so impressed with their curiosity and how they looked forward to meeting her.
So when Christy showed up in her flight suit looking totally “normal” you can imagine the kids’ surprise when she lifted up her pant leg to reveal her “business casual” leg. In true childhood innocence the questions began and Christy was a true sport. She spent most of her time performing tricks with her leg. Peter especially wanted to see if she could do all the things he could do with his leg. “Can you touch your knee to your nose? Can you hop on one leg? Can you smell your foot?” And on and on… Much to the kids surprise Christy’s best trick was that she could turn her leg 360 degrees! It was a really great visit and all the kids went home and told their parents about meeting her. I forgot to get a picture of all of them but here is a picture of the kids!
At our Air Force Ball, Christy looked beautiful in her mess dress. Tim was the perfect date, always attentive and there when she needed someone to lean on. I really loved seeing them together. I would have been so nervous during her speech. But not Christy. She was poised and had all eyes and ears on her. I’ll never forget this quote… In physical therapy one of her therapists said, “Don’t, for one second, long for what you were, but recklessly pursue what you can become.” Yes! That resonated with me and I am sure with a lot of others. The only thing that would have made the speech better would have been for her to comment on an inside joke about being thrown into the pond. 🙂 HA! I cannot imagine what it must be like to overcome the physical, mental and emotional struggles that Christy has had to deal with. But she is certainly doing so with grace.
To round out my Christy week I was able to meet her parents! How great is that?! My Mom recently moved to Reno and as you all know that’s where Christy is from. Christy’s Mom Kathy and Dad Tom came to meet us at my Mom’s house during our week long visit. We spent 2.5 hours talking and getting to know each other. They were so easy to talk with and the time flew by. Her parents are lovely and personable and my family and I look forward to spending more time with them. They were nothing but proud of all of their children and so happy for all of the support Christy has received. We were so pleased about being able to meet them! Christy had warned us to not believe any of her Dad’s stories about her childhood but unfortunately he didn’t give up any dirt on her.
I look forward to a lot more Christy time. Through Christy my son and so many others will know that people can do hard things and you can find joy even in the challenges.
Thanks Christy for being such an inspiration- Ashley Hosey