A few years back, I wrote about a hero of mine - someone I truly admire and look to for inspiration. After the first story, at his request, I stopped writing about him. I believe the attention may have embarrassed him. He must have felt uncomfortable in the spotlight, and felt I was disrupting his life by turning the beam in his direction. I do not intend to embarrass him further, but I have remained quiet long enough.
Spenser Simpson @ CEU
My hero, then and now, is my son Spenser. When I wrote of him previously, Spenser had suffered a traumatic brain injury, and we were unsure whether he would survive another day. As usual, we misjudged the strength and tenacity ingrained within the very fiber of his being. Spenser not only survived, he emerged from the accident with a new, uninhibited nature, and a will to succeed that caused us a good deal of concern in the beginning.
What struck me then and even more now is how much the people around us can and do effect our lives. Spenser lived to continue his odyssey, in large part because he had the love and support of a large group of people. The four communities he is associated with; Monticello, Blanding, Bluff and Twin Rocks, provided just what he needed to pull through. We all drew strength from others, and the catalyst for healing was a good kid in need of help. The outcome was simply amazing.
Spenser winning Mr. San Juan
Many Native American cultures believe that every human being in the world is connected by strands of life; invisible threads that, like a spider web, connect us in ways we may never understand. Everything we do, be it positive or negative, sends ripples of energy along those life lines, and effects the entire web. The closer we are to people, the more we feel their push or pull. When a huge event is initiated, each of us feels the impact in one way or another.
In modern society, this phenomenon is often referred to as String Theory or The Field. Science is just beginning to understand the nature of and implications of what many "aboriginal" societies have long referred to as the web of life. Quantum theory is coming of age; Einstein would be proud. We all understand such things in different ways, and interpret them through personal experience. The fact is that there is definitely something to it.
Spenser playing Tennis
I hope it does not come across as bragging, because I attribute Spenser's success to a great many people and circumstances. Spenser came through his ordeal with scars and paralysis, but he emerged as an incredibly positive, progressive and loving individual. Our family has often tried to apologize and protect Spenser from himself, and others, because we did not appreciate his new, uninhibited self. Spenser decided long ago to accept his new lot in life, and not to let it detour his hopes and dreams. It took his immediate family a bit longer to grasp the concept, but we are being drawn into acceptance and appreciation by witnessing his example.
Spenser will soon be leaving us to discover his future. He is ready, willing and able to fly solo. We on the other hand are reluctant to see him go, because we feel there is much more to learn and love from such an incredible individual. What we must accept is the fact that Spenser has more work to do. He must go forth and stimulate the web of life. Spenser's influence will certainly bring back ripples of positive energy. Thanks to each and everyone of you for helping Spenser survive and allowing him to be himself. Fly Superman, and be well.
This has been a banner year for Spenser, he has racked-up a list of accomplishments thus far and has his sights set on many more.
San Juan High School Student Body President 2007-08
Mr. San Juan; School Spirit Competition
President of The National Honor Society
Principals List for Academic Excellence
Mentoring at Blanding Elementary
Member of Future Business Leaders of America
Boy Scouts of America, Timberline Leadership Training Staff
AA State Tennis
Academic All State Cross Country
Recipient of the Calvin Black Scholarship at College of Eastern Utah, San Juan Center
Member of San Juan High School Band
Attending Brigham Young University in the Fall
Seminary Class President
Sterling Scholar Winner 2008
With warm regards,
Barry, Steve and the Team.