Special Olympics Wisconsin

As I was waiting in a store yesterday, I sat near a gentleman with a developmental disability.  Today I am reflecting upon my career in special education.  After I left teaching, and experienced recovery from surgery and illness, I experienced disability of a different sort.  Then, as a caregiver, with legal and practical responsibilities, I experienced  yet another side of being a human being.   I sat in a meeting one day at a nursing home, and I thought, “I’ve been the professional, the patient, and now the daughter.”

I’ve been needed too much, and I’ve also been invisible in our world.  Many of you know exactly what I am saying!

It took me many years to tell my story.  Blogging gave me the confidence, in large measure.

One thing I know: everyone has a story.

I know that the poems that touch the hearts of others are the ones that are born in these deep places.

Always more to learn about art, about craft, but for me the heart is most important.

My great-aunt, Marie Schwanke, was a pioneer in education for people with hearing challenges.  There were children in my neighborhood with special needs.  I remember the passing of a child too at a young age.  In a group, I tended to notice the person who was “different,” who was not learning in the same way, at the same pace.  I always knew my calling…until I was 40.  Then a new journey began, which I also cherish and thank God for every day.

So today, I looked up the website for Special Olympics Wisconsin.


The Special Olympic Athlete Oath is:

“Let me win.  But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

16 thoughts on “Special Olympics Wisconsin

  1. So much truth here. I work with people with sight loss who have many additional disabilities, including learning disabilities. I’m not a ‘carer’, you understand; my job is to help them demonstrate to the world, or a small part of it, that while they might be ‘disabled’ they have many outstanding abilities. One of the ways I do this is to encourage them to write and then publish it, in the newsletter I edit. I mentioned in my post of yesterday the inspiration which some of the Olympic athletes give me; my ‘writers’ are equally inspiring, of course, if not even more so.


    1. Thank you very much for your comment. So true what you say,”that while they might be ‘disabled’ they have many outstanding abilities.” I always say now that the chronic illness I had was my best teacher. And I don’t know where I would be without writing. How great that you edit and publish your newsletter. When I was young, each door opened, and I also worked hard. Then everything became hard, and it’s not a bad thing to know that too. All the best, Ellen


  2. i’d not heard the Special Olympics oath. I must say – the world would be a better place if everyone knew, appreciated and perhaps even adopted that oath!


  3. The message is simply beautifully related! It is a very awesome post, as i would think that anyone who shares in their worldly life, to help others has felt all three of what you talked about. I have and i have never regretted doing all i did for other’s whether appreciated or not, for i always gave my best efforts as if i was doing it for and to the Lord, but to sit in all three chairs, you truly grow after walking in other people’s shoes! Thanks Ellen for the brightness of your heart!


  4. Special Olympics is a great program, and I like their oath. I had forgotten it. I’m glad you began blogging, and that I’ve found you. Your posts are always a breath of fresh air.


  5. Oh Ellen, I got so choked up reading the oath–what a lovely tribute, such a blessing. And I LOVE your new look here–gorgeous, refreshing–I can smell the roses!! God bless you abundantly. I reblogged the “rain” poem, so hopefully folks will come over and catch this new one too! love, Caddo


  6. The words, and thoughts and heart-sharing of your blog is an amazing blessing, Ellen! I, too, took a step back when I read the Special Olympics oath. Wow! Sara Beth has been a light for us in showing our dependency on God. I so often feel I am self-sufficient and she always helps me to see in her quiet cooing and soft smiles as she sits immobile in her comfortable chair that we are all so dependent on God for our living and how lovely it is to have such a Father who takes such care of us. That made me think of the contrast of roles that are reflected in your thoughts, Ellen. So true for all of us and such growth found in those vulnerable spaces. Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us! It’s such a beautiful thing.


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