Leading the Bison Charge!

Thursday, April 27, 2017


It's my fault! I'm late, no excuses! Now that I've gotten your attention, I must confess I failed to congratulate two of my friends graduated from Gallaudet University last year. I enjoy not just writing about my experiences in the Deaf Community, but sharing the accomplishments of others who I have had the great pleasure of journeying with even for a brief time. I've known Esther Drake and Zamica Gage for several years. It's been an honor to count them among my friends and a pleasure to hang out with them.

I met Esther Drake at her church in October, 2010 when my Deaf Mom, Kari Analco (Kari Olney back then) and I visited. We didn't hang out at first, but I would see her in passing because she and​ Kari hung out. A few months after our initial meeting, I saw her at the end of a session at a conference he church hosts. We hugged and I felt she was a warm person. Every time we saw each other and hugged, I felt like she considered me to be a long time friend, even though we barely knew each other! The next day, I asked Kari to give her my email, because I wanted to hang out with her and before I knew it Esther texted me. We're been friends ever since. Esther, you have graciously invited me into you home several times over the years. I've enjoyed spending time with you and my (not so) little buddy and future Gallaudet University football and basketball star, Jeremiah. Your encouragement has been priceless! Your perseverance has paid off!

I left church a little early one Sunday in November or December 2012 to go to work when I was employed as an athletic training aide at Gallaudet University. I think I was at the sink when I felt tap on my shoulder. I turned around and a student athlete asked me if I was at church that morning. Turns out, she had been invited by some mutual friends we had at the time. The four of us started hanging out as a group and it wasn't long before Zamica and I became friends. You have likely read my posts in which I congratulate her on making different USA Deaf Basketball teams. She's an amazingly talented athlete and her graduation means Gallaudet University has lost an irreplaceable talent! Zam, Zammer, Zaminator, it's been awesome knowing you. Not only have you taught me some ASL, you've also taught me about Deaf Culture. I have seen you grow as an athlete AND as a person! You challenge me without even realizing it!

Two cool chicks, one grateful blogger! Our relationships shape​ us more than anything else. I just happen to be blessed with some of the best. Esther and Zamica are just two examples. So, from someone who fully acknowledges she couldn't do what she does without the AMAZING people in her life, Esther and Zamica THANK YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS!!!