by Jennifer Gannon
New neighbors! My emotions were in a whirl. My old neighbor was my best friend. How could she be replaced? These people could be anybody. What if they are unfriendly or hate kids? Every scenario ran through my mind. The next day, though, I met them, and from that day on, I have had an entirely new outlook on life.
My new neighbors – Cindy and Vito- are little people. When I found this out, I was unsure how to react. I had never seen a little person before. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know my neighbors, and after seeing how they live their lives, without complaint and looking at every day as an opportunity, their lifestyle has rubbed off on me. They are constantly glowing with ideas that anything is possible with their “can-do” attitude. They show me that every day is a gift that is too precious to waste.
Life as a Little Person has many more obstacles than it seems. Simple, everyday tasks, like reaching a sink, become difficult, as do major necessities like driving a car. Although these tasks may get tricky, my neighbors never lose heart and always find a way to get each task done. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as using a step stool, and sometimes it is as complicated as getting extensions on the pedals of a car. For most people, buying a home means choosing the one that has the nicest backyard or the biggest driveway, but when that house is built for an average sized person, it makes it tricky for a Little Person to move in and be comfortable. When I go food shopping, I shop where the cheapest prices are. For Cindy, it’s different. She prefers King Kullen over Pathmark because their shopping carts are low enough that she can reach inside them with ease. She also needs to remember to bring her step stool in order to take groceries off the shelf. These are all everyday necessities about which an average-sized person is unaware. But, no matter the task, they have shown me that nothing in life is too great to overcome or too difficult to try.
My neighbors motivate me to follow my ambitions and never quite. Watching them live their lives and get past all the problems they face has shown me a new way to deal with life. Without them, the troubles in my life would seem insurmountable. Seeing Cindy and Vito take on their challenges and get past them at all costs has made me re-evaluate my life and realize that nothing is impossible and that I cannot ALWAYS WAIT FOR HELP FROM OTHERS. If they can get past their struggles with their disadvantage, then I can get past mine. They have taught me that not everyone is handed an easy life, but it is possible to work hard for the good things that make it worth living.