Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Name is Cindy Johnson by Ginger Simpson

My name is Cindy Johnson, and I’m a freak…at least I feel like one.  Although Momma says I’m beautiful, other people look at me like I’m uglier than sin.  You see, I was born with one leg shorter than the other and I have a very bad limp.   I go to high school, but if I had a choice, I’d just stay home and read romance books all day.  At least, through the writings of others, I can escape to a world where people don’t stare and say unkind things.

Funny thing is, I have a crush on the HS Quarterback despite knowing I stand no chance with him.  His name is Cory Neil and he’s polite, but I know it’s only because he feels sorry for me. Knowing Math is my strong subject, he called and asked me to tutor him. I was so blinded by his attention, I agreed because he was so sure he’d lose his place on the team if he failed the class.  Anyhow, I arranged to meet him in the library because our house…well, let’s just say, it isn’t a mansion and I decided I’d be much more comfortable without him seeing how I live.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, my dad does his very best, but we’ve not had the best of luck which is how we ended up with me at a new school and people less forgiving than those I grew up with.  Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if people thought before they spoke?

Anyhow, Cory asked me to Homecoming and that made me angry.  Why would he ask someone who obviously can’t dance unless he was dared by his friends?  I’m not stupid and I immediately knew I was the butt of someone’s joke.  I absolutely refused to go and he pretends he doesn’t understand.  Yeah, right!

  I don’t think I’ve ever wished for anything as much as to be normal and go to the dance with Cory, but no matter how much I want things to be different, I’m who I am.  Yes, maybe I let my “Shortcomings” define me, but I just can’t afford to open myself up to more ridicule and hurt.  He doesn’t seem to want to accept my answer, but I’ve already made up my mind.  He can take the pep squad captain.  She seems to like to remind me daily that I’m nothing but a gimp.


If you want to know who Cory takes to the dance and how this story ends, you’d better pick up your own copy of Shortcomings and read the entire book.  Although this is listed as a young adult offering, the story has a message that each and everyone can heed, and maybe make this world a lot less intolerant.  Remember...a Kindle filled with great books is an amazing holiday gift.

Note from Ginger:  I wrote this book with the hopes that people would learn that staring and saying unkind things aimed at those who are different often makes them feel less than they really are.  Their “Shortcomings” are not of their own choosing.  My grandson is “different” in that he was diagnosed with autism, but he is the kindest, most loving child in the world and my greatest gift in life.   The thought of him hurting because of someone’s ignorance makes me see RED!


Karla Stover said...

My sister-in-law has an autistic grandson. He is a beautiful little boy. All my best, Karla

A.M. Westerling said...

Ginger, this sounds like a great story. I wonder sometimes if people are apprehensive of someone who is a bit different. Everyone deserves a chance. :)

Sandy Semerad said...

Very timely and interesting, Ginger. My husband Larry can certainly identify. He had perthes hip disease as a child and couldn't walk. But he overcame his disability to become a boxing champ at Notre Dame. He credits the love and support of his family and also the encouragement of the great Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas for his success. Unitas was the Easter Seals Chairman the year Larry was selected the Easter Seals Poster Boy. He invited Larry to his games. Larry now walks with a slight limp, but I think it's sexy.

Margaret Tanner said...

Lovely excerpt Ginger. You have written from the heart and it shows. It is a shame that people can be cruel to those they think are different.



Sydell Voeller said...

Ginger, thanks for sharing this meaningful post. My son was diagnosed with Legg-perthes disease when was only 3 and had two surgeries to fix it. The doctors said he'd never play sports, but he was determined to prove them wrong. In high school he played every sport and in college went on to get his black belt. 142

Roseanne Dowell said...

I reed this book and highly recommend it, not just to teens, but to adults also. Great blog, Ginger

Diane Scott Lewis said...

I've read this book and it is a beautiful story. Ginger's grandson, who I saw on Skype one time, is adorable.

Sheila Claydon said...

We have people with disabilities in my own family Ginger and I so agree with your comments about staring and making comments. My daughter works with autistic children too, so I know about the many problems children like your grandson have to overcome. Like you, I wrote a book about it - Mending Jodie's Heart. I just had to.

Victoria Chatham said...

I think sometimes people fear what they do not understand and fear makes people do and say things they might otherwise not do or say. There's no excuse for not trying to understand someone else's situation. Love the book.

Rita Karnopp said...

It's a story that touches your heart . . . you are so right about rudeness - whether young or old - it hurts.

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