ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Thirteen-year-old Ross Minor’s days are full. There are classes, swim practice, time with friends and a little piano and guitar.
Sounds like the day of any typical teenager except that Ross’ life is anything but typical.
I traveled to Florida to catch up with Ross five years after his family’s tragedy made headlines. Ross’ father Mark shot him and his brother Ryan and then killed himself. He was upset about an impending separation from his wife Grace. 10-year-old Ryan died. Ross was blinded by the shot.
Grace tells me, “The hospital was just crazy. I have two children in ICU and I don’t know which one to go into. Ross was a fighter from the get go.”
10-year-old Ryan died. Ross was blinded by the shot.
“I remember waking up in the hospital and being like I can’t see anything.”
But from the beginning his mom says Ross never complained, kept his good sense of humor and gave her pep talks. The years have been difficult.
“I just felt like I couldn’t trust anybody because….I obviously was huge misjudge of character and so I lived this life that I had no idea that this was possible.”
The only thing that motivated her was Ross. Finding the right school for him became her mission.
The older he got the clearer it became that he couldn’t stay in a conventional classroom in Charlotte.
Ross made it clear to her that he was ready for something different.
“I figured being around other blind kids you know that understand being blind they wouldn’t have any trouble getting used to me while the kids at the public school would just kind of avoid me or flip out when I walked by with my cane.”
After years of searching they made a home in Florida so that Ross could go to the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine. It was a perfect fit from the beginning. No worries about getting lessons translated into Braille. Sports programs are adapted so that he can take part. And there are plenty of friends.
It may be his youth or a special ability not to be bogged down with the past. Whatever it is Ross has adapted and is moving on with his life.
“I’m doing great. Nothing has changed about me except I’ve gotten way taller.”