Mr. Wonderful Pageant from We See Abilities
MR. WONDERFUL BROUGHT US TO TEARS
And we’ll tell you how by the end of this
This whole story begins right here in The Woodlands with We See Abilities and a man named Mythiquer Pickett. We See Abilities is an organization whose mission is to give special needs population a better quality of life through the joys of sports and community activities. And the face of We see Abilities is Mythiquer Pickett. Myth (as everyone knows him) has completely devoted his life to making sure this community comes first. He inspires so many to take up the role of helping and volunteering their time to help these families who’ve at one time thought they were alone in their struggles. Our own sister is special needs and we’ve seen first hand what it takes to take care of someone who needs that extra attention, we’ve seen the stress it can cause on a family not just emotionally but financially. We too are part of this larger community.
When Myth asked us last year, just after we moved to The Woodlands, if we wanted to help in this year’s Mr. Wonderful we of course said yes. We can’t think of another alternate universe where we didn’t say yes. The answer is, and will always, be yes. We’re honored to have even been given the opportunity to play a small part in these fellas’ lives. So last month, the train of Mr. Wonderful’s began to make their way through Folk Portraits. One by one we got to meet these guys, talk with their families, and learn their stories.
So many of these guys have been through more struggles than we can imagine. And so often, even with our own special needs family member, we too can take for granted the endless amount of blessings we have laid out in front of us. But let’s not harp on their disadvantages because we tell you, there is nothing lacking in any of these men. They each have their own gifts, talents, and brightness that they bring into this world. The range of conditions are vast in this group. Some are milder than others. There were many who loved coming into the studio and there were some who were not as comfortable, and we only had mere seconds to do what we as photographers needed to do. Because of this, we heard stories from parents that this was the first and only time their child has had professional portraits taken. And that they have been turned away from so many other businesses that don’t have the patience to deal with their children and that they are actually turned away. We can’t imagine turning a single one of these boys, teenagers, and men away. We want to make this clear so there is no misunderstanding. Folk Portraits will never turn anyone away because of their disability, sexual orientation, gender identification, ethnicity, religion, or the color of their skin. Period! All are welcome inside of our doors.
Now we told you at the beginning of this that we got emotional. Not just once, but multiple times we had the family of these amazing guys tell us how monumentally important what we’ve done for their child and their family has been. Having a tearful mother look at you and not be able to talk because her emotions have taken over. To have a child’s father tell you that his entire purpose in life has changed all because of his young son, and it’s now his mission to spread the word that his son and others like him can make a difference in this word. To have a grandfather pull you in tight from a handshake to a tight hug, and then look at you in the eyes and tell you that from now on you’re part of their family. These are just a few of the reasons that we’ve gotten emotional throughout this experience.
We want to leave you with probably our favorite moment of the Mr. Wonderful event which was when the reining Mr. Wonderful gave a heartfelt speech just before he passed along his torch about being true to yourself and the effect bullies have on their community. And then he said something that is going to stick with us forever. He said that his mom tells him this.. He paused and told the crowd to ‘remember these words forever”, he said “You’re going to change the world, because the world isn’t going to change you.”
And that’s what we’ll take away with us.
That’s the new philosophy that we will take to heart with our own children and family. If these men ranging from 6 years old all the way to their late 60’s can have the mindset to change the world for the better, then so can we!
Thank you to the We See Abilities organization for letting us play a very small role in all of the amazing things you do for this community!