This is Francis. He is 45 years old and has cerebral palsy.
Francis is our neighborhood's special needs person. He spends most of his day hanging out at the corner store, munching on potato chips and washing it down with a bottle of coke. He is always willing to share a smile and a high five to anybody who greets him.
Francis has very limited speech, but he communicates with his own sign language. He says he has 10 siblings, all of whom are married. When asked if he plans to get married too, he bursts into a hearty laugh and shakes his head.
He loves the store owner's delivery bike (a bicycle with a cart hooked to it). Despite his handicap, he pretty well gets to pedal that bike halfway up the street and back. His childlike pleasures are a sight to behold. He never asks for anything extra. He is content with whatever 20 pesos can buy.
Happiness for Francis is so simple - potato chips, crackers or a chocolate cupcake, a bottle of coke, a bike ride and a high five.
Seeing him every day humbles me. Here I am, without any handicap, able to converse fluently in 4 languages, with children of my own, and yet I still find it hard to appreciate the blessings that have been given to me.
If you happen to see Francis, look into the eyes of this "Child for Life" and feel the heartfelt message:
"Live simply, love deeply, and don't forget to share a smile."