A Beautiful Soul – by Billie Ann Doner

Billie Ann Doner is mom to 28 year old Casey. Born in ’86 with Autism & a severe form of Epilepsy (Lennox-Gastaut) 

Casey and I just had the pleasure of meeting a beautiful soul. We were in the Vinita, OK. Walmart and, as is always our policy, we were making a beeline to the toy section first because Casey does his shopping and then is happy to ride along while I do mine.

As we neared the toy aisle I noticed a young boy maybe 8-10 years old come out of the toy section. We passed him but as we turned into the aisle I noticed in my peripheral vision that he had turned around and was behind us.

Casey was looking into each side aisle as we passed giving me directions.

“Nope, not this one, keep going…oh there’s Thomas the Train aisle, keep going.”

“Turn here momma, there’s the Airhog aisle!”

We turned in and right behind us was the boy. He immediately struck up a conversation with Casey. Well, it was pretty much a one-sided conversation on his part but you couldn’t tell that he noticed…

“Hi, do you like air hogs?”


“Me too! This one right here is so cool (picking up a hovercraft in a ball) you can hold it in your hand and it will take off and go all the way to the ceiling. Do you like this one?”


“Or maybe this one (he points to a larger helicopter) this one lights up!”

“Yeah…mom I wanna 4 wheeler”

I tell Casey to introduce himself and he sticks out his hand and says. “Hi, my name’s Casey.”

The boy’s name was Carter and he proceeded to educate Casey on all the wondrous things he could do with the amazing, and thankfully inexpensive, 4 wheeler. As he chatted away I stood back and watch. Occasionally he would pose a question to which the reply was always, “yeah” but the lack of response did not deter him, he simply chatted with Casey as a friend.

As I stood there watching I couldn’t help but wish that his mother would come looking for him. Not because I wanted the moment to end but because I wanted to meet the person who raised such a boy.

A boy who didn’t see a wheelchair, never seemed to even cross his mind to question the chair equipped with the rather bulky looking homemade shopping cart attached to the front of it. Nor did he see a disability, he didn’t question why a grown man would have to ask his momma to buy him a toy 4 wheeler, he just accepted Casey as another RC enthusiast. And it was beautiful!

I wanted to thank his momma for the gifts she has given her son, the gift of a pure heart, of acceptance, of graciousness, but apparently she also raised him to be trustworthy because no one came looking to see what mischief he might have gotten into.

As they wound up their conversation I told Carter thank you for assisting us in what would have been a very hard decision without all his guidance.

“Sure, anytime.” he said, as if he would be available next time as well. Then, “Bye Casey.”

“Bye” Casey responds with a quick wave, then to me, “momma I’m gonna need some NEW batteries for this awesome 4 wheeler!”

I looked back as we rounded the corner and there he stood smiling at Casey, not at me, but at my son…the smile of a beautiful soul!!

…it was a good day!

Casey is all about the joyful moments…Choose joy with Casey at



  1. Moments of greatness is rarely recognized but it great that you took the time to notice. I am a fan of recognizing the disability but assuring the person that I Love them for their reality. But i get the point of this, the young man didn’t make it about the disability but common interests which is incredibly Loving!!!! Thanks for sharing your inspiration with me

    Liked by 1 person

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