The disabled carry so much inside. On a daily basis we are challenged with what we let people know about our lives and our needs. Is it a good day or a bad day? Do we need to ask for help, and if so, how much of that help might be robbing us of our dignity? You may be thinking that we need to get over it. If you aren’t in our shoes, please think twice about that remark.
I like to think of myself as independent, though as I’ve lost more of my vision, I’ve had to ask for more assistance. I try to do as much as I can, and I’m noticing that the abled world is making it more difficult to do so. It adds to my daily burden.
At first, I was going to write a regular post. Sitting here, I’m going to do this differently. Here it is:
What I Do
wake, I notice
Scan the rest of my body.
I move from the bed realizing that I can walk when others can’t do this.
I engage in morning listening to a book because
I can no longer read print easily.
I give thanks that I still can hear.
Today should be a good day.
I think of those I know in wheelchairs
struggling to walk this day.
I hold them in my heart and hope that they will have the help they need to survive
My mind travels to those who must have assistance in all things.
We don’t think about that much unless we’re directly affected by someone in that situation, and
I hope that caretakers will treat them with dignity on this day.
I leave the house to run errands
The sun shines in my eyes.
Even with sunglasses
I strain to make sense of the path that
Is covered by foliage.
It is beautiful and crunchy and
I love it.
I can’t make sense of the path with my cane.
How would I explain my reality?
It is so different from yours.
You can’t really understand
This life of mine.
Then I must explain to the abled that
I can work,
because they can’t imagine me doing what I do.
Should I do nothing all day
When I can do something I love?
More of a burden
That I haven’t created.
I want to cry.
To yell at people.
The disabled person’s greatest burden
We get lost in the shuffle
Are not seen when we need to be seen.