Many of you in the Austin area will remember this story about Esdras from last year. I know I paid attention, because we’re familiar with brain injury in my house—and I wondered at the time whether a “crushing” injury to the head would be survivable for this person.
Visualize “crushing injury to the head” just for a moment… http://kxan.com/2014/04/09/man-hospitalized-in-construction-site-elevator-pin-in/
His name is Esdras, and not only did he survive, but he works hard every minute of every day to get back to a normal life for himself and his family.
Before his injury, his job was very physically demanding. It took strength, good vision, and attention to detail to work on tall buildings installing glass.
Now, with half of his vision gone, significant cognitive changes, and the lingering effects of numerous physical challenges, Esdras has to learn to make a new life for himself. And that’s hard. He wants to be able to operate independently, to support his family again, to be able to help his children with their homework.
We are so fortunate at Small Victories Foundation to get to work with Esdras. You see, he is learning a new skill—drawing. And he’s getting pretty darn good at it, too.
Together with his instructor Laurie, he works to understand rules of perspective, techniques of shading and scale, and the many other NEW things he will have to learn to be an artist. He approaches his drawing time like he approaches every other hard thing that he has to do–with resolve. Is it perfection? No, it’s beautifully imperfect as it should be.
While other people in the community might look at Esdras as a disabled person, his teacher sees him as a whole person in student form, ready to learn—even if it takes extra time, or different techniques. You will hear more about Esdras and others in the coming weeks, months, and years—because in central Texas alone there are thousands of folks who live with traumatic brain injury, and the number grows.
At Small Victories Foundation, we know that through his art, Esdras finds a small mission and sense of purpose, a little escape from the realities of his current limitations, and some happiness. And that’s OUR mission.