Not all of us have speech impediments but all of us have struggles of some sort, things we can't quite do, at least not yet. No matter what our particular struggle is, I feel like Joan's story applies to all of us. No matter how impossible it may seem when we are going through it, if we keep trying, we can really overcome anything we put our mind to. I really believe that.
This story is amazing as is, in its tidy typed up form here on this blog. But you know what is even more amazing? If you can all travel with me back to moment when the story was first told. Imagine sitting at the table at our storytelling class, and hearing Joan read it out loud. Watch her eyes travel down to her freshly handwritten page and up to meet the eyes of her peers, and our volunteers and visitors around the table. Imagine her voice, strong and stutter-free, filling the entire room. And now imagine that very voice echoing between the lines of the typed text below.
When I was a child, I stuttered very bad. I heard later when I was older that it could have been caused by my sisters and my older brother scaring me a lot. I don’t know how true that is, but could there be some truth in it?
When I was older and attending elementary school, the teacher would call individuals to read. What I would do is when someone else was reading, I would hold my breath so that if I was next, I would be able to start reading without stuttering.
There was a girl in my class named Barbara. I used to feel so sorry for her because she stuttered much worse than me. In Junior High School there was a boy in my class that stuttered terribly and the children would laugh at him. I’d feel sorry for him too. By the time I became a teenager, most of the stuttering had stopped. The only time I stuttered was when I got very excited or angry.
The people that never experienced stuttering don’t realize what a struggle it is.
Well, I don’t stutter anymore, but I’ll tell you a person that used to stutter, you can hardly shut them up, I know. People think I’m quiet, but don’t start me talking.