The Words of a Friend
If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together. There is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. (Winnie the Pooh)
The words I share with you today are not my own. They are the words of one of Yael’s best friends, Halley Cooper. Halley had a school assignment to write an essay honoring a personal hero. Halley chose to honor Yael. Her words come from the heart and reflect a deep friendship rooted in mutual acceptance & unconditional love. Yael is so blessed to have such a friend in her life.
Honoring Our Heroes
by Halley Cooper
What comes to mind when you hear the word autistic? Different, struggle or just strange? What about inspiring? That’s what I think of. One of my best friends, Yael, was diagnosed with autism when she was three years old and came to my school in the fourth grade. She was so fun and beautiful, and when she wasn’t talking or making me smile, she was singing. That’s her dream, singing. What’s not to like about her? Well some kids at school could come up with quite a few things. She got made fun of just because she was different. Do you think that those things got to her though? Not often.
Things like autism & bullies don’t affect her. She keeps singing, dancing and having fun no matter what people say about her. We sing together all the time and she tells me that when she is sixteen, she will be the next American Idol. Who says she won’t be? She truly is an outstanding singer. Even if she does get some tough criticism, that won’t stop her from doing what she loves. It will only make her better.
Yael has taught me never to take things for granted. Who knows what life will throw at you? Follow your dreams because if you let bullies prevent you from doing just that, than what is life for? We only have one life to live, we should make something of it. Those are only a couple of things that I have learned from her.
Yael has also helped me realize what it means to be a true friend. She helps me with fairness and honesty. But most importantly, she has shown me that you should be who you want to be, not what others want you to be. If you follow your heart nothing can stop you. Not even autism. Not anything. Yael hasn’t let anything get in the way of what she wants to do or be, nor will I. Yael has given me that courage and has helped make me who I am today. Now if that is not inspiring, I don’t know what is.
How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes. (Maya Angelou)