I have a friend in my life who has become very special to me, his name is Michael. Michael is a young man in his early 20's, living with an intellectual impairment, he also has hearing complications and wears hearing aids. At times his speech can be a little hard to understand, but this doesn't stop us from having some wonderful conversations. Michael is a student at my place of work and he attends two days a week - Thursdays and Fridays. He visits me each of these days, always before lunch and if I'm lucky sometimes again in the afternoon. Michael has the most warmest and kindest heart, he always checks on me, asks me how I'm doing and always makes sure I am going to have lunch.
Over the past few years of our friendship, we have exchanged gifts. I love to watch the look on his face as he opens the one I have given him and I love the surprise of finding out what his creative mind has come up with as a gift for me. Sometimes its chocolates, or cakes that he has baked on the weekend with his mum and sometimes most interesting of all are the post cards or flyers that he collects from his adventures on the weekends, he loves to tell me all about what he got up to as he hands them over.
Some people I'm sure must look at the two of us and wonder what on earth I am doing, or perhaps they may think that I pity Michael, but to those that may think that, well they're the ones I pity. Michael always makes me smile. He has the funniest sense of humour and I am always laughing in his company, he makes me happy.
People can be too materialistic and don't recognise gifts in their varying forms. Where others possibly see a fault, I see Michaels child-like, innocent outlook on life as a wonderful, caring gift he has to share with others.