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Friday, Aug. 29, 2014

Letter To The Editor

Thursday, August 23, 2001

Who is your Hero?

For the last 15 years mine has been my friend, Liesa Wasson. She passed away on July 15, leaving a huge void in the lives of many who knew her. She accomplished much in her 43 years that many of us may never accomplish if we live to be 100. I could tell you about all of her accomplishments and her awards, but I won't. I won't even tell you how she lived daily, for the last 25 years, with significant disabilities that would have, quite possibly, left the rest of us feeling sorry for ourselves and living in total seclusion.

Liesa chose a different lot in life because she always believed she had something to contribute, something to share with others who were not as fortunate as she. Her first priority was everyone else, never herself. She loved children and spent countless hours in elementary schools talking about blindness and guide dogs, playing beeper ball and teaching sighted children a little braille. She always strove to achieve just a little more because she thought the more she knew, the more she could help others in similar circumstances.

Liesa enrolled in countless correspondence courses and earned top grades and certificates of completion. She always seemed to fail to mention she was blind. Her family and friends assisted in her studies. She also liked crafts. she made those ships with the thin string and they were perfectly crafted. She made latch hook rugs (yes, I did say she was blind). Her family would outline a section of the rug with safety pins and she would hook until she reached the pin border. The pins would then be moved and color of yarn changed. Last Christmas she gave her mother a picture of horses she had painted with assistance from her personal attendant. Liesa loved horses, beanie babies, dogs, friends, family, being on the go, using her mind and learning - always learning and always teaching what she had learned. Liesa left a legacy of love and compassion for all people, big or small, healthy or physically challenged, it never mattered to her. She saw more with her heart than many of us will ever see with our eyes.

Liesa's life ended July 15 and was celebrated at a funeral service on July 18. During the service the minister read from Romans 5:1-5 (NIV). It says, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by his Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."I am glad I had the opportunity to share in Liesa's life.

I am glad I could call her friend. She is my hero.

Aleta Trankler