Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Hottie's Speech

Have I ever told you why school is such a big deal for The Hottie?  I asked his permission to share this, so I wouldn't embarrass him.  I suspect that after today he will likely do a bit more sharing of this himself.  He is dyslexic.  Not as in- "Oh, I messed up a couple of those words while reading them", but more like "I absolutely HATE to read out loud because I cannot make what I read come out of my mouth accurately."  He has no problems writing (as evidence by his essay and the precious letters he has written me in our ten years together) but even then he will occasionally twist words around and confuse them.  I do the same thing, but am not challenged to the degree that he has been.  Because of the dyslexia, reading has always been a challenge for him- especially reading aloud.

So there was an essay contest at the college.  The award was a $1000 scholarship.  I encouraged him (against everything negative in his head) to write an essay and try to win that scholarship.  Less than 48 hours after turning in the essay, The Hottie was announced as the winner.  There was a time of celebration, but then the reality of what was to come, set in.  You see, part of the stipulation of winning the scholarship is that you have to read your essay in front of a room full of chancellors, presidents, contributors, and.... other important people from the college.

So this morning was the Chancellor's breakfast.  After dropping off all 16491726 of our children, we arrived about 15 minutes late and the morning began.  We visited with all of the people at our table- very down to earth, very friendly.  We later discovered that the college president was among our new BFFs from the table.

There were a total six scholarship recipients (one from each of the college's campuses.)  Each recipient was introduced by an "important person" and each recipient had to read their speech to the room full of about 250 people.  Seriously.  For me, this would be no big deal.  I love to speak to a crowd or to be up on stage.  I'm totally wired for that.  But Kyle?  Not so much.  He was nervous, sweaty, and emotional.

Never-the-less, as his "important person" got up to introduce the Hottie (which, by the way, and much to my disappointment, he did NOT call him) Kyle grinned that ever-so-handsome grin and walked up the the microphone.  And then it started.  Every bit of emotion, every bit of nervous energy, every bit of everything inside of him came to a head.  As he started to read, he stumbled on the words.  He teared up as he read some of the beautiful things he'd written.  He stopped several times to compose himself and pressed on.  What should have taken about 4 minutes took about ten minutes.  He struggled so intensely to get the words right and to make it sound eloquent... but he could not.

I sat about ten feet from him and grinned as he recovered, each time with a little more strength and a little more perseverance.  By the end of the speech, I was filled with so much pride, and so much joy that I could hardly contain my excitement for what this man had just done.  He KNEW he wasn't going to sound the best up there.  He KNEW he'd struggle to get through the reading... and still he pressed on.  In his speech, he spoke of his dyslexia and the struggles it had caused him.  When all was said and done, there was not one dry eye in the house and people could hardly wait to jump to their feet to show this man their pride in his accomplishment.

He received a roaring standing ovation for this feat!  (And, might I pridefully mention that his was the only standing ovation given).  ;)  I can best describe the moment by taking you back to the King's Speech (with Colin Firth).  The King was trying to inspire a nation by overcoming his stutter and addressing the nation.  Kyle was merely trying to get through an essay, but ended up inspiring a room full of people.  One by one, close to 100 people came to shake our hands after the reading.  People could not stop talking about how impressed they were with... my man.  ;)  They patted him on the back, encouraged him, and a few even hinted at possible job opportunities after graduation.  (HALLELUJER!)

It was definitely one of those mornings I will never forget.  It was the day my man, my Hottie, put aside every bit of self doubt, every bit of negative thinking, and did what he had to do... and it not only blessed me (and everyone else in the room), but it challenged and encouraged me in my own life as I struggle to put aside every bit of self doubt and negative thinking to do what I have to do.

But this post is not about me... it's about an average, ordinary man who pushed past everything emotional, everything physical that could have held him back and persevered, inspiring a room full of people to never give up.  Never quit.  So perhaps the terms "average and ordinary" don't really apply to this man after all.  No, I'd say he's more like amazing, exceptional... and, of course- hot.  ;)

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I know you're so proud of Kyle! What a great testimony he gave to perseverance despite obstacles.