Joy

Dear Oscar,

You are always so much on my mind and these days it is JOY that often comes to mind when I think of you:

The very special joy (who) came into your life when you were about 2 years old – Aimee Joy – and the joy of having a brother like Carl.  What a blessing you three are to each other!

As a champion athlete, the joy that you’ve given to so many people of all ages, backgrounds, countries. We miss your beautiful smile and your glorious running, both always so full of joy.

My prayers from God’s Word and my heart, for you in your current circumstances –

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.”
“May the joy of the Lord be your strength.”

And from God’s Word regarding your healing and your (not too distant) future –

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
“You shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace:  the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

Much love always,

Avril Brandt, Gloucestershire, UK

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Eyes are the window to the soul

Dear Oscar,

If I could give you one thing in my life, I would give you the ability to see yourself through the eyes of those who love you.
Then you would realize how beautiful you are.

We will continue supporting you and your family during this difficult time and we know, that you have the ability to once again amaze the world.

You are strong and we will stand by you.

Kind regards
Andrea

Never Change

You are constantly in my thoughts Oscar. Never change who you are for anyone, stay as special as you are, you are a beautiful human being with a beautiful soul.

With love and hugs,

Tracy G

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An Inside Job

Dear Oscar,

When we consider freedom, we tend to think merely of its opposite: chains, imprisonment, liberties denied. And yes, that is true. The denial of freedom to all who walk the earth is a stain on humanity and one wonders whether this planet will ever grant all of its inhabitants equal rights. Many of us abhor slavery, intolerance, inequality, injustice. Some of us actively fight it. Others shamefully look the other way. But no matter what our opinion, we all of us look to another person to carry out the granting of freedom and its opposite. We see it as a endowment from one person to another.

Yet the ultimate freedom is an inside job. It can only be granted by oneself. For you can be in the middle of a vast universe, free to walk or hike, sleep, explore or run, and yet be chained by your own fears or grief, rendered immobile by your worries or the weight you carry on your shoulders and in your heart. And conversely, you can, like Madiba, be deprived of the basic liberty all of us should be afforded, yet contain in your heart a freedom your oppressor will never fully comprehend. Because real freedom is what we do when we hit the brick wall. Freedom is how you respond to what life throws at you. Freedom is in your heart and your mind and cannot be taken away by any other human. Freedom is what you grant yourself when you choose to stand up, square your shoulders, take life by the scruff of the neck and shake it for all it’s worth. Freedom is the ultimate forgiveness. It is the moment you lay down your own chains and decide to enter the race.

So come on, Oscar, put your legs on. It’s time to give yourself permission to move forward. It’s time to break out of those mental chains.

With much love,

Laura and Carly

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Freedom Day

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela

Oscar, I hope and pray that your body will soon be free to run and breathe and dream and heal. In the meantime, remember that the essence of you will always be free, for the heart and soul of a good and honourable man can never be held captive.

God bless you dear boy.

Love Heather

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True Freedom

Dear Oscar,

I write this to you on South African Freedom Day. I am sure you know that I, and many many others, pray regularly for your physical freedom. It’s in our hearts and thoughts to do so every day. But freedom comes in many forms. We can be prisoners even when we walk freely wherever we might choose – prisoners of our past, of our fears, of things we see as being mistakes, of things we deeply regret. So recently I have been encouraged to pray for a deeper freedom for you, so that even while you remain where you would never choose to be, there may be a freedom in your heart, spirit and emotions, such as you have never known before. So I pray, Oscar, when your physical freedom becomes a reality, you may walk with your head held high, and your step firm, into a life of true freedom, ready to take up your life again in whatever way you might choose.

With much love,

Julia, UK, Olcpfriends.

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Build Your Dream

Dear Oscar,

While lazily browsing through Facebook, I came across this quote “If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help build theirs”; unlike other quotes, I didn’t immediately agree upon those words (nor I think they are absolutely true right now). There is something greater than building or achieving your own dream and it’s sharing it, dreaming so big that your dream involves and inspires other people to do the same or to find and reach their personal goals. And this is what you’ve done in your whole life; inspiring people to do things that seemed impossible until you and they did them (I’m obviously paraphrasing Nelson Mandela).

Last autumn in Italy we watched another season of Ballando con le stelle; among the contestants there was Giusy Versace (I guess her name isn’t totally new to you; is it? Maybe you even met at some sport events. She is the Italian record holder for female T43 runners). In 2013 she wrote a book about the accident where she lost her legs and about how she began to run at first as a mere pastime and then competitively. I guess that, apart from minor details, her story probably reminds you of your own; she devoted herself to a very unusual sport activity for someone who had lost both their lower limbs, wrote a book about her life to encourage and inspire people with disabilities to do the same and finally took part to a dancing contest (and, if memory doesn’t fail me, she won too). Well, with the exception of the start of her athletic career which dates back to 2010, everything happened after February 2013 and the only logical explanation is that, despite all the lies and the slander that have been told about you by unscrupulous scribblers and malicious detractors, you’re still an eminent role model for your fellow athletes, to the point that one of them decides to follow your footprints and take the same challenges. If you’re an inspiration for her, just imagine how many unknown people still draw inspiration, motivation and encouragement from your achievements and, most of all, from all the dreams that you managed to turn into an amazing reality.

Despite the horrible accident, the tragedy that struck you and despite a number of people are probably not honest enough to admit it, your dreams are still there to push people to overstep their limits and their fears, to dare and to have bigger dreams themselves. To many, like Ms Versace, you remain the most shining example of determination in front of adversities, of indomitable and steel will and to me you’ll always be the demonstration that the biggest strength does accompany to the brightest of smiles and to a great sense of empathy and compassion, because real strength comes from within, from our thoughts and dreams, and as says a recent song by an Italian singer, Ligabue, it’s always the dreams that shape the world and create reality.

Dream on and dream bigger, dear boy, because for every dream you chased, you made a lot of people dream.
A tight hug,

Serena
(Olcpfriends)