When Sherri Franklin read her original poem at Lemonade Ladies, we all wept. We wanted to hug, and embrace this beautiful woman, and tell her she is special. She has dealt with being bullied as a child, mistreated by her parents, abused by men, and she constantly battles issues with depression, and weight problems.
Yet, Sherri is the kind of friend who will have your back, be loyal, and will always be there for you. She has a sixth sense, and recognizes when someone else needs comfort.
Her poem begins at her birth; the day she was born there was a blizzard, her family saw nothing special about that day. She communicates in her poem that as a child, she learned how not to show emotion; stuffing things down became the only way she knew how to deal. Her childhood was taken away from her when she was raped at the tender age of twelve, yet in her world that was not out of the ordinary, nothing special. She was forced to abort her precious baby at age 17. To those around her, it was just a fetus, nothing special. She was smart, and excelled in school, yet it was never good enough. As an adult, she conveyed how she did the things she thought women were supposed to do, what was expected; however, to those around her, her efforts were nothing special. She ends her poem expressing a feeling most of us crave; the desire and need to be special, and to be loved.
We need to feel special because we want to know we matter to others; and how others view us is important to us. We know we are loved when people treat us differently than others. They shower us with special treatment, give us special privileges, and tell us they are proud of us. When we have no one who does that we feel we are of no value, and that leaves emotional scars.
A way you can spot if someone you are with needs to feel special is if they are always changing the menu, and having something cooked a distinct way for them. Another clue to watch for is if you are making plans with them, and they want the plans to accommodate something specific to meet their wishes; or they may even change the time of a planned event to accommodate them. When you observe these traits in a friend or family member, even though the things, they are doing may be irritating, they are sending a signal they need to be noticed.
We want to matter in this very impersonal world; we want to be seen as a worthy person, we want to be validated that our existence matters.
Born in a blizzard in 1962, a story my grandpa liked to tell,
It was January in the Texas panhandle,
8 years later the preacher comes to grandma’s to tell me daddy is gone
He told me I could cry but the tears didn’t come
12 years old, spending the night with a friend,
Her cousin came in drunk and stoned,
Virginity came to an end.
She was used to this, but we must not tell,
At 17, sex seemed the thing to do.
Everyone else had tried it and my mom always accused.
Picked a guy at random, his lucky night
I wasn’t really a virgin, nothing special
6 months later my period was late
I was in denial
Mom took me to Lubbock
Never tell anyone she said
Told mom I was graduating, 2nd in my class
“just think if you had really tried” was her response
College went by in a breeze
Graduated with honors
Married in my junior year
Seemed the thing to do
Went to find a real job
Had worked since I was 16,
The manager said where did you go to school?
Why don’t you know these things?
Paper I worked so hard for
Turned out to be nothing special
Had 2 kids, moved many times
Raised them with love and faith in God on high.
Ran the house, cared for mom until she died
That is what I was supposed to do
Son was sick at the age of 8,
Husband said, it’s all your fault
I had done what doctor said, instead of as he did.
Prayer over him was said. “Take him if you must”
When I heard those words, I pulled away
He was healed without my help… nothing special
Then one day I prayed to God… please give me a sign
Husband walked in and packed his bags
23 years of time
Another prayer for something good
Then came an email from one I loved so very long ago
I gave my heart, the bottle was more important to him
I was nothing special
Spent 4 years doing music for a special service
Summer break I was told
Decision made to discontinue
Found out I wasn’t needed from a friend
My service… nothing special
The years have passed, a total of 52
My body is no longer young and firm
It needs some help to move.
Each day I struggle just to be alive
I may be nothing special, but don’t I deserve love?