I wanted to share this post with you all. This post if from a dear woman I follow. Her writing is spiced with humor, reality and wisdom. She starts many of my mornings with a great read. I hope you enjoy this from her.
In reading the post from http://comingeast.com, I thought of my niece Beth. My Beth is my energizer bunny on steroids. She is the youngest of three boys and she occupies the dearest part of my heart.
When Beth was five she had a brain tumor. She had surgery, had it removed and went on with her little life. A couple of years later another tumor appeared. This time it was inoperable. This time they also put a word to the mass that no one ever wants to hear. My young niece had cancer of the brain. They treated the tumor with radiation and all seemed well until she woke up one morning and could not walk. Her speech was impaired and she was not well.
They flew her to University of California, Stanford and she was diagnosed with radiation poisoning. The results devastated her young body. She was not supposed to survive. The doctors basically told my sister and my brother-in-law to love her and enjoy her last days.
She is now almost 23. The doctors forgot to tell Beth to give up. But, that is not in her vocabulary. She is the definition of tenacious. She is my energizer bunny. She keeps going and going and going and going…
When my youngest was in high school preparing to go to the prom and enjoy those activities that seniors in high school enjoy, I remember my sister in a rare ‘down’ moment saying she would never see Beth go to a prom. Fast forward a few more years and she called me as she was heading off to see Beth crowned prom queen at her senior prom.
This woman is my inspiration. She sees a goal and she tackles it. No one can say ‘don’t’ to her, she won’t understand it. She is starting her senior year of college this fall. She was telling me about her apartment and her likes and dislikes about it. If you close your eyes she is like every college senior in this country.
She is a published author and is preparing her second book. She is handicapped, but that is only a physical description of her speech and body movement. She has trouble navigating through some shops, although she loves to browse gift shops with fragile items. The term ‘bull in a china shop’ fits here. I know, I have walked her through a shop like this. We are usually heard before seen as we stumble down the aisles trying to avoid the breakables. Our laughter over this makes us a target of blatant stares.
I had the joy of being with my Beth this past week/weekend. We talked a bit and laughed a lot. We had some wine and laughed some more.
She is an advocate of the para olympics. She is excited to see them in London. She showed me the column she wrote for a local newspaper, she has her own byline.
When we go out together we are looked at. People tend to see the disability rather than the person. Beth does not look like she can do much. When I see people looking, I want to shout at the top of my lungs, “This is my niece, author, athlete, student.”
It is easy to look at handicapped signs and facilities. They may not be perfect yet, but it’s a start. It’s a start to look at the person also, not the wheelchair or the crutches or the limitations. As my Beth has said often, “I have cancer, it does not have me.”
Thank you http://comingeast.com/2012/07/16/a-deeper-appreciation-for-the-disabled/for making me aware once more that sometimes we need to reevaluate our attitudes toward those with difficulties.
Thanks for stopping by, it means so much to me, DAF
I have been incapacitated in various degrees for nearly six weeks now because of this broken foot. For the first four weeks, I was completely unable to put any weight on it and had to hop everywhere I went, using a walker to assist me. Getting up and going to the bathroom in the middle of the night was a nightmare. Even though I am doing a little bit of walking now, I still have to go up and down the stairs on the seat of my pants, and my husband, George, puts me in the wheelchair if we go to the store or anywhere that necessitates me having to walk more than a meager amount. This experience has given me a completely new appreciation for people who are permanently or much more seriously disabled.
Very few restaurants or stores, even those who say they are wheelchair accessible, have doors…
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