I am handicapped. Many of my friends are handicapped. I have met many wonderful people during my 25 years. I have met wonderfully-hearted people like teachers, aides, assistants, and people who smile when passing by, and I just know that they are good people.
But then, I noticed those individuals who blatantly stare at us, the handicapped, because we are different. Worse yet, are parents who allow their children to stare at us without even telling their children that it is impolite to stare at people. My mom taught me that basic manner; her mom taught it to her. One mother at a store criticized her daughter for asking me why I am in a wheelchair. I wanted the woman to know, and I told her, that the question was fine–not a problem. I would much rather explain what happened than be the subject of a rude, cold stare. I have a lot to learn yet in my life due to cerebral palsy, but many supposed “normal” people have much to learn about human decency.
I accept that I am handicapped, but I am not protected from the judgments of ignorant people who think they are better. Even among the handicapped there are categories of higher and lower, just like any other population. I find that I must be patient with my own friends, such as those who cannot speak. I feel so badly when they cannot answer me verbally or in a text, and I want to simply converse with them, but sadly, they cannot tell me what they mean. I want to say to then, “Please get a Dina-box,” but then I realize that some of my friends do not even have the use of their hands with which to type. We must all be patient and compassionate. We all have a lot to learn–handicapped or not. There are more ways to be handicapped than the obvious physical and mental impairments which qualify a a person for special programs.
We, the handicapped, often wish we were not–handicapped. Sometimes we want to just be able to do things like others without having to wait for help, such as someone to dress us and then drive us to where we want to go. I wish I could write my own blog without the help of my mom who is often busy with her own things. I do try, but even Dragon Dictate doesn’t always work. It is not always funny to read what I think I dictated. I wish I could go out and catch a bus to meet with friends, but I know I am not ready yet since safety comes first. I know I must be patient.
My biggest dream is that my friends and family will call me up and say, “Let’s hang out today–” that they would scoop me up and take me out for a fun event. I want to be included. The handicapped want to be included. It’s hard to always wait.
Hopes and dreams–all people have them.