Wednesday, June 10, 2009


When I come home at the end of the day, no matter what that day has been like or how silly I may think myself, I am greeted by three children who run right to me for hugs. Behind them is my husband, hanging back to offer a peck on the lips and to ask about my day. I then enjoy stimulating conversation with my Mom. Whatever has happened throughout my day, I come home and find that I am cherished, loved and valued as the person I am. When I think about the almost 15 years I have been working in this field, I am hard pressed to remember people who have chosen services who have people to greet them at the end of the day and let them know they are valued.

Today I was talking with a man who struggled back tears as he spoke about someone he knows who he feels certain is being abused. This woman, who has chosen services, uses alternatives to spoken communication and people don't believe the things she does try to communicate(about the abuse), with the exception of this one man. He has tried to make sure people know, he has tried to make it stop, but because this woman can't come right out and say "I am being abused," she is being left right where she is and nothing is being done. It's partly because of the way our system is set up, but mostly it points to the lack of value we have for people with disabilities.

Don't believe that people with disabilities aren't valued? In this country we pay people in prison about 19cents an hour for work, I have supported people who worked at "workshops" and got a 19cent paycheck for two weeks of work...The R word still gets thrown around as one of the lowest insults one can be paid...People still tell me I must "be a really special person" to work in this field...Almost everyone I know with an intellectual disability has been abused, and of all those people, not one of them have seen their abuser behind bars....the list goes on and on.

So at the end of the day, I get to come home and be seen, heard and known as a full human being and know that I am valued...but somewhere else there is a woman coming home to get used and abused, even though people suspect valued does she feel?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sand Through the Hour Glass

Well, it has been a very long time since I posted anything. I didn't intend not to post, time just seems to have gotten away from me and with no spare time my creative juices have been running on short supply!

Speaking of time slipping away...My son will turn 13 in July. I don't know where the time has gone, and his becoming a teenager troubles me on a variety of levels. First of all I will officially be RAISING A TEENAGER, and frankly I'm not sure how qualified I am for that one, and secondly it reminds me that I too am aging and as I contemplate my own mortality I wonder what my existence on this planet will mean, if anything.

As a younger me, I had plans to change the world, at one time through music at another as some crusading marauder for peace and equality across the planet. Now I've found that I've come to a place where I'm still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I know that I want to continue working and advocating for and with people with intellectual disabilities...but how? I keep going back to school as if the answer will somehow appear and yet I have no more clarity today than I did yesterday. I'm guessing that many people start question their place in the world at one time or another, so I know I'm not alone, but it's a precarious place to be...

But, what keeps popping into my head, as silly as it will sound, is some Miley Cyrus song (my kids love her, so I too am subjected to her music), and it says something about climbing a mountain, It's not about getting there, it's the journey...something cheesy along those lines anyway. Well here's the thing, while I'd love some macaroni with all that cheese, it's true! It is all about the journey, and I keep forgetting to stop and pick some flowers and take it all in, I've been too busy worrying about the end result. The end result doesn't matter, it's great to have goals, but when does life ever turn out like intended? Yet, somehow things have always seemed to turn out in some cosmic, Divine way that's always so much better than what I ever could have planned.

So I am taking some time right now to think about my journey and how it's made me into who I am and brought me to all the good in my life. Then I'm going to stop and take some time to enjoy the trip, because that's what life heck of an unbelievable trip!