Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » A Tribute to Jamie Q.

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I was very fortunate to know Jamie Q. I would think most kids in the neighborhood knew him. He was hard to miss. Often he would be seen chasing his younger brothers and sister around Laguna and Santa Fe. He would seldom catch them, until one day he got his electric wheel chair.

Growing up at the Q house was quite the excitement. Their front yard doubled as a street side football field. In the back yard, we caught yellow jackets by hand. Inside, we traded time playing Mike Tyson's Punch Out. The bald fighter, I cannot remember his name, took us days to figure out how to beat. Remember, this is way before the internet where tips for games are easy to find. We also hoarded Garbage Pale Kids. Thank God I was not too affected by these!

Getting back to Jamie Q. Why the wheel chair? Well Jamie had a sickness, muscular dystrophy. As he grew, his muscles deteroriated more and more. I remember him being very friendly. He enjoyed life, had moments when it was tougher, but all in all, he was a special kid. He taught me much in life like people in wheel chairs are people. I don't remember treating Jamie any different than the other friends. Sometimes he and his siblings would have childhood squabbles and it would lead to running away from him out the door.

When Jamie passed, I remember it was a sad thing for me and the others. He was the second friend of mine to leave his earthly life. I still see his siblings on Facebook and it brings great memories of Jamie Q and his struggle, effort, kindness, and life. Thanks Jamie Q for teaching many people that life is precious!

Growing up, do you remember any friends that were different? Or maybe you were the Jamie Q of the neighborhood; what are your memories of growing up with your struggles?