When we are young, most of us are taught the important lesson of empathy and understanding towards those we don’t know.
Whether that be a homeless woman on the side of the street or someone who is suffering from a tragic medical disease. We’re taught not to assume anything, especially not the worst when we meet people. However as this sad story will show us, not everyone received that valuable and important lesson.
Kionna, her husband, Dusty, and their adorable 8-year-old daughter had decided to eat out at their local Olive Garden. After they had enjoyed their evening, they were leaving the Olive Garden when the couple got a glimpse of something on the windshield of their car. The couple were unsure what the piece of paper might be, perhaps a ticket, perhaps a flier or something else. It was only when Kionna got back to her car that she realized the note was something much more cruel.
Scribbled on the note, quite angrily, was just the line
Disabled? No. Just your big fat a**es
Kionna was absolutely shocked. While the family had indeed parked their car in the disabled parking spot, they had a legitimate reason for using it. This person had assumed the worst of this family of three for some unknown reason.
Dusty, Kionna’s husband, suffers from a medical condition that has impacted him all his life and has, in recent years, required the use of the handicap parking spot.But of course, this angry person did not care to understand and empathize where this family was coming from and assumed the absolute worst from them.
Kionna and her husband were shocked and tried to keep the note out of their young daughter’s view.It was too late, however. She asked them why would anyone write such a horrible note, especially about her beloved parents.
Kionna decided she would use this as a fantastic lesson for her daughter..
In a post that has since gone viral Kionna wrote her incredible response to the cruel note.
“To the person/persons that left this note on my car at the Olive Garden on Memorial in OKC [Oklahoma City] today, I’d like to say thank you!”
“Your misguided and uninformed attempt to shame me and my family provided an opportunity to teach my 8 year old daughter a lesson.
Upon seeing this note, she said ‘Mom, why would someone do that? They don’t even know us.’
This coming from a little girl who’s daddy will never get to walk her down the aisle, because, he is in fact disabled.”
“So we explained to her that some people just have hate in their hearts.
We further explained how your actions can deeply affect others around you, and how she should always be conscious of others feelings.”
“I explained that she was right. These people didn’t know us. They didn’t know that my husband has Muscular Dystrophy and has struggled with it his entire life.
They didn’t know that even though his doctors advised him to go into a wheelchair years ago, he refused, and instead, remained on his own two feet until he finally fell for the last time, blowing out both knees and breaking an ankle.
They didn’t understand that we’ve spent the last 2 years learning to adjust to a life in which he can’t even stand up to get in and out of a car.”
“They didn’t see that I’ve torn my rotator cuff lifting on him to assist him in his transitions.
They have no idea that he already lives in constant pain, and that their hurtful words would only add to that.They didn’t know that the reason that he has a belly is because there are no stomach muscles left to hold everything in tight.
They didn’t know that our 8 year old already struggles to understand why her daddy can’t run and play with her the way other daddies do. They just didn’t know.
And because they didn’t know, they allowed the hate in their hearts to get the better of them.”
“So again, I’d just like to say Thank You.
Your ignorance provided a wonderful opportunity for me and my husband, who have struggled and survived and come out stronger in the last couple of years, to not only teach our daughter a valuable lesson, but provided another opportunity for us to overcome and to be thankful for the blessings that continue to come our way!”
Kionna hopes that because her post has since gone viral, that perhaps one day the author of the note may come across it. Hopefully the post will help remind this person to have basic empathy for everyone, especially when they don’t know the story of those people. There are many people out there like Kionna and Dusty who have disabilities that are not always easily seen from the outside.