#8216;Being your best self#039;: A Tribute to Laura Bees, CCA Class of 2007

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 31, 2007

CCA Class of 2005

When I was eleven years old, Laura Bees, an eight-year-old girl in our school, Crenshaw Christian Academy, lost her leg in a firearm accident.

I can remember thinking that Laura would never again be able to do the things she loved such as dancing, gymnastics, and her favorite, cheerleading.

I concluded that Laura's life, as she knew it, was over and that she would simply have to come to terms with her limitations.

Laura, however, came to a different conclusion.

She decided that her life would go on as planned which included being a Pee Wee cheerleader.

About twelve weeks after her accident, I realized the meaning of determination and courage.

Laura's mother telephoned to ask if I would be willing to help Laura with the Pee Wee cheerleading dance.

I was stunned that Laura actually thought she would cheer with one leg.

The events of that day and of the years since unlocked what being my best self really means.

Laura came over to my house with a new prosthetic leg and a determination that taught me that our only limitations are those we place upon ourselves.

The old adage is true: &#8220A ship in a harbor is safe – but that is not what ships are built for.”

Laura knew being a cheerleader would mean overcoming many obstacles, but she also knew she was doomed to fail if she never tried.

We worked timelessly that day outside in my carport until she not only learned the dance, but also perfected it.

Laura cheered that year as a Pee Wee cheerleader and was eventually selected to the Varsity cheerleading squad.

In addition to that, she was crowned Miss CCA 2007 this spring.

The limits others imposed on Laura were merely obstacles for her to overcome.

She could have accepted being physically disabled, but Laura was not &#8220built” to limit her dreams.

I believe God used Laura Bees and her experience as an inspiration to those who need encouragement and motivation.

Sometimes, when I become overwhelmed by the demands of life, I think of Laura.

I remember how much she has accomplished since the accident and how wrong I was to put limits on what she could achieve.

I visualize her running the May Day Sack Race, stopping in the middle of the football field to take off her prosthetic leg, and finishing the race on one leg.

This mental image encourages me to finish my race, to persevere – to be my best self.