Dealing with the attitudes of people!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
As many of you probably already know, my wife Shelley was born with the disability known as Cerebral Palsy! Cause? Doctor error at birth, NOT giving her enough oxygen! Due to that, seemingly , minor oversight on behalf of that doctor, Shelley has had to endure countless physio therapy, etc etc and beyond that....attitudes of society around her! Through it all, and LONG before I came into her life, she had conquered most of it! But even to this day, we still face it all! As a child, preteen, young adult and even now at age 44 we are both mesmorized by what some people think and even VOICE out loud! I guess some of it can be attributed to ignorance, some to "wanting" to learn and therefore, ask? But some comes from complete lack of respect! When Shelley was growing up, she was told and some of this was from respected authority figures? Ie, teachers, doctors, physiotherapists etc...but for example she was told that due to her level of disability, "noone would ever love you, other than your family!" Some, told her she would never get pregnant? Some told her, noone would listen to you because you can';t speak? blah blah blah! Well today, Shelley is loved by everyone! Shelley has a child, now 18 years old and even though she can't speak vocally, PEOPLE listen! And Shelley has come a long way! We have been married over 11 years and we continue to educate people as to how to view those they might consider different? Maybe they can't speak, can't walk, look different? Whatever? But they are people and they are part of this great earth! They fulfill a purpose as anyone does! However, from time to time we still come across those that view those with some sort of "disability" somehow makes that person a liability? Recently I came across just that sort of mentality in a local restaurant? Due to the size of our town Shelley and I are very well known! I am known as being the "able bodie man who married a disabled person!" Well in this restaurant a waitress and I began a conversation and in the course of that conversation she says, "oh yes, you are the man married to the lady in a wheelchair?" I said, "yes, for over 11 years now! Her name is Shelley!" To which she replies, now get this...."what would make you choose that!" After a brief breath, I replied? " Choose what? Y ou make it sound like I was choosing a pet!" "what made your husband choose you as a mate?" "Have you heard of Love, Respect, admiration? Well thats why I married Shelley! A better question might be asked of Shelley...."what made her choose me?" The waitress didn't respond, but she knew what I meant! People with disabilities, visible or not, are still HUMAN BEINGS, and have the same thoughts, feelings and needs of every other human being on this planet! Yes, some need perhaps a bit more due to circumstance...but still they are human! Thats why I married Shelley! She is smart, she is giving, she is loving! She is the perfect wife! Disability or NO! She is my hero and although we have been together for over 14 years, married for over 11....we still need to educate those around us! Disabled people are PEOPLE TOO! I am the lucky one!