30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Deckers' are Friends of Mine

By the time I am finished writing this, I will have upset quite a few people and maybe lost some friends, and I am sorry if that happens. But maybe that says more about you than me. I have remained silent publicly long enough.

The Decker family are friends of mine. They were before March 2, 2012, but are more so since. It has nothing to do with their "fame", but more of a shared experience of living through an EF 4 tornado. Sure, I am sure you are sick of me talking about it, too. Go elsewhere then that's the great thing about this country, freedom of choice.

But I hear too many negative comments about the Decker family, specifically, Stephanie. Stephanie is the mother who protected her children when the tornado tore through her house in Henryville, IN. Since that day when she should have died, she has done all that she can to provide positive experiences for her family and to help others in similar situations.

Some things I have heard since that day.

1. She didn't do anything anyone else wouldn't have done.
That's true, hopefully, but she was there and she did it and it almost cost Stephanie her life and it did cost her two functioning legs. I am sure she would trade in her notoriety to have her legs back, but maybe not because she is using this horrible situation to help others.

2. I am sick of seeing her in the news.
Do you think she chose for a tornado to destroy her home and take her legs? People react differently to any situation, she has chosen not to remain silent (if you have, that's your decision also a respected decision) and by keeping her name and experience in the media, she has raised thousands, if not millions, of dollars. That money has helped the community of Henryville and children through her foundation receiving prosthesis to play sports.

3. She's not from our community.
Stop, just stop. See #2.

4. I never liked her before.
I knew Stephanie before the tornado and I know her now. She has changed. She smiles more, she takes time to listen more, she admires the accomplishments of so much more than what happens in her own little world. I thought before the accident that she was a good person, but was laser focused on different things. Today, she's different. She's still laser focused, but she seems to have more of an appreciation for others and for life.

5, She gets too much attention and stuff.
I don't know about you, but I have to get up and use the bathroom in the middle of the night. I've gotten up sick before. I have gotten up in the middle of the night for sick and crying children. No matter how bad I get with age, I will still be able to walk, maybe much slower. Now imagine not having legs. How much work is it to do anything? We point and see the "positives", but the negatives are not in the spotlight. They are in the mundane details of every day life which is hard WITH two legs.

I am sure I could answer more comments, but it is ridiculous. There are many other people who have dealt with serious situations from that day including my Aunt Lenora who lost her husband, but Stephanie was thrust into the spotlight. She could have stepped back and lived her life quietly, or she could do what she has done...improve the lives and conditions of others through this horrible experience.