At first, since the duo departed their previous program of around 20 years on rocky terms, Rose was hesitant to trust in the help offered by the new program. However, within a few weeks, an inner peace filled Rose. She attributes her peace-of-mind to truly believing she can trust the staff running the ILS program to support her emotionally, while also meeting the duo’s more earthly needs. Furthermore, she and Shadow Man felt completely accepted at the new program! After a few months of participating in the newly joined program, Shadow Man also experienced that sense of peace.
As time passed, they continued noticing changes within themselves. For example, during the first community meeting, they noticed their myopic obsession with their internal worlds was replaced with a broader, compassionate, desire to participate in community activities, build relationships, and help the people they would soon recognize as family. Another change they recognized when Rose’s birth-family began focusing on their relationships as siblings rather than their obligation assigned familial roles as overprotective caretakers.
Reflecting on his youth and past volunteer experiences in Chinatown, Shadow Man recognized the vulnerable nature of everyone who participates in the program. This awakened a strong interactive drive within Rose and Shadow Man that compelled them to protect the program’s Members from predatory people.
Since the villains’ lairs permeated Chinatown, Shadow Man and Rose decided to enlist the help of others to protect their new friends. Through the DETC workshop, Shadow Man met Nurse Awesome. Together they will devise a plan combine forces and better defend the program participants against those would-be villains.
Through Sunflower, a fellow super hero from church, our super duo are given the opportunity to attend a coastal camping trip! During this trip, they plan to provide resources and advice that will empower other differently-abled people with coping skills that once developed will allow them to live more independently. Rose and Shadow Man look forward to time with friends and each other… because apparently 17-years isn’t a long enough time to spend together.
As Rose struggles with perceived limitations forced on her by her own developing different-ability, Shadow Man plots a romantic surf and turf meal to prepare for her while they are relaxing on the coast. He hopes to help her cope with what the tides are bringing in to her life, so that she can calmly accept the impending changes without losing her smile, and their marriage will be stronger because of it.
On August 4-7, 2011, Sunflower met Shadow Man and Rose, and drove them to the coastal campsite where they met up with other super heroes. While unplugging from their phones and plugging into each other and nature, they enjoyed meals, sharing stories around the campfire, and walking on the beach. Rose watched Shadow Man fishing. Afterward, they walked back to camp holding hands and talking. This confused the other heroes, who thought the two spend so much time together that they were going to take this trip as an opportunity to take a break from each other’s company. However, Shadow Man smiled and responded that he’s looking forward to their 18th year together. The duo returned on a Sunday, relaxed, and looking forward to the week ahead. On Tuesday, the duo shared tales of the blast they had on their trip with friends. Shadow Man filed his mission report with Break at head quarters on Thursday regarding the 4-day camping trip.
A few weeks after their return, Shadow Man decided to reach out to his favorite radio station. He called in a prayer request to RMG-Radio, asking that they pray he receives help coping with and develop better coping skills for his frustration with daily life and the cards he was dealt. Little did he know the request he would receive as a result of his plea.
Over the past three years, he has frequently called in to be the voice of people with disabilities. He has submitted many prayer requests for those having difficult times with their disabilities, commented on many broadcasts regarding people with disabilities- especially to answer questions asked of the listeners or to propose suggestions for how we as a society or those without disabilities can better handle particular situations involving those with disabilities. His calls did not go unnoticed by the station’s CEO. After this recent prayer request, the station’s CEO asked to speak with Shadow Man personally. Shadow Man was placed on hold for a bit then he found himself having a pleasant conversation with the CEO. The CEO had his own request of Shadow Man. He asked to interview Shadow Man for their anniversary show! Tune-in to RMG-Radio from 8-10pm on September 14th to hear Shadow Man’s 2-hour interview regarding living with disabilities!
Since Shadow Man knew what to expect, and told Rose what he expected the interview to be like- unscripted and unedited q&a time. He told her that it would be a great time, and that he needed to remember to try to relax and be himself.
In the three years that Shadow Man has called in responses, questions, and requests to every radio show broadcasted by RMG, Rose stayed in the shadows… until the interview on the late night broadcast, Issues After Dark. The interview was about ministering to people with special needs and people with special needs who minister. To the welcome surprise of the CEO and Shadow Man, as the interview began, Rose stepped into the light. She expressed her appreciation for the broadcasts, and that the CEO provides an inviting format for differently-abled heroes to speak up regarding the issues that affect them, while also educating the larger listening audience about the need to challenge their preconceived notions about people with special needs. She also complimented him on encouraging the audience to have compassion for those with special needs and their daily struggles. She also shared that she doesn’t think of herself as someone with special needs, and asked that people the church believes to have special needs be treated like all of the other patrons.
Though the interview mainly focused on how others can better relate to ALL members of their community, Shadow Man and Rose also shared more candid details of their 17-year marriage. They gave examples of what each other does that makes them want to scream, and what about the other brings them great joy. They also gave tips for how listeners can work through the most trying times in their committed relationships.
Shadow Man, the unofficial third co-host of Issues After Dark, listened to Rose, and became worried that people would pay more attention to the fact that Rose has a special need rather than realize they can learn a lot from her. So, he pointed out that people have disabilities, disabilities don’t have people. People don’t have conversations with disabilities they have them with the person.
Listeners began calling and writing in expressing how touched they are by Shadow Man and Rose’s plain speech, and that their (the listeners’) blinders of prejudice crumbled as they listened. They were also motivated to share their own stories about how much their lives have improved because of their relationship with someone, who has special needs.
During this call-in segment, The Host of Prayer Radio (another RMG broadcast) called-in to jokingly ask why Shadow Man and Rose were still awake so late on a week night. Then, he complimented them on their ability to teach others and himself about the daily struggle experienced by people with special needs, especially since they are issues easily ignored by people not personally effected by a physical or mental disability. After expressing his praises, he commented that everyone has special needs- spiritual, physical or mental. The CEO asked the Host to say a prayer for Shadow Man, Rose, and the radio station. The Host agreed, and prayed they all continue successfully ministering to others.
As Shadow Man thinks back to his enlightening experience during his first official radio interview, he smiles at the memory of welcoming listeners back to another segment of “Issues After Dark with your hosts Steve and Dion.”
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