Kionna Montazeri had just finished enjoying an Olive Garden meal with her husband Dusty and their daughter, who was 8 at the time.
They walked back to their car, parked in a disabled lot, and found a nasty shock waiting.
A yellow piece of paper was on the windshield of the car, and it proclaimed in big letters, “Disabled? NO.”
It also accused them of just being “fat”, instead of truly disabled and in need of the parking space.
This note is, of course, extremely ignorant, as it does not account for those with invisible disabilities.
The parents attempted to quickly hide the note, but their daughter had already seen it, and she was shocked and confused as to why anyone would say such a thing about her family.
But Kionna took this as an opportunity to teach her child an important lesson.
Kionna’s daughter was understandably affected by the note left on their car, especially as she couldn’t see why a complete stranger would say such hurtful things.
Besides, she knew her father had a disability – muscular dystrophy.
Patiently, her parents explained how there are people out there in the world with hearts full of hate, and who don’t understand how badly their words can affect other people.
They talked about the way that she needed to be aware of her actions and the feelings of others.
Kionna also told her daughter that the stranger who left the hurtful note certainly didn’t know them at all.
She told her about how Dusty’s muscular dystrophy affects him and how much he’s struggled.
Dusty had been told by doctors to use a wheelchair permanently, but he didn’t want to, and his decision eventually led to him breaking an ankle and injuring both of his knees in a fall.
For the past two years, Kionna and Dusty have been adjusting to life with him as his condition worsened.
He could barely stand anymore, so getting in or out of a car was nearly impossible.
Kionna herself has torn her rotator cuff before in her attempts to lift him through transitions between his chair and other seats.
But these strangers didn’t know that, and they called him “fat”, not realizing that his stomach muscles were no longer working right, causing his belly to extend.
They accused him of not needing the disability spot, unaware that every single day involves constant pain for him.
They upset a family, not realizing that their daughter is still learning to understand why she can’t play and run outside with her father as her friends can.
In a Facebook post about the incident, Kionna thanks the person who left the note, saying that it gave them a chance to educate their daughter, a chance to face a challenge and be strong through it, and a chance to be grateful and count their blessings every day.
She hopes that the person who left the note sees her now-viral post and that people around the world learn to be kind to others, as you don’t know what other people are going through.