Who? Us?

We are two disabled, oldish women who have been adventuring through life for years. We are talking about how disabilities, both visible and not, change the way we enjoy our retirement.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Of a Sunday

Remember when you were a little kid and you overheard your parents talking about a friend of theirs who had (whisper here) cancer?  It was a word that was not to be spoken out loud. Maybe it was a fear of catching it, I dunno. As I got older, that same whisper was used when talking of a person of color (black). That  how the word was said in restaurants or other public places. Same reason, I wonder? Fear of skin color being catching?  Now it is happening with (gay ) although not so much.  Most of the time that word is spoken out loud and in pejorative terms. But what about (disabled)?  Do we say a disabled person? A person with a disability? Does it matter? What on earth is wrong with the word disability? Is having one something to be ashamed of? Is the word disabled somehow an insult?

Disability is looked upon as something to overcome. Certainly a better person would have already done so already. Disability happens to everyone unless they die first.  We who are disabled, live with it, work with it, love with it and learn with it. Isn’t that how you live your life?

So are we less than worthwhile if we are disabled? Do you ever think about that? Or do you look at the disabled person with contempt or pity, just glad you are not that way.

Years ago, I had a friend who has MS and relied on a wheelchair to get around. We were swimming one day - we were equally abled while swimming. She said, while we were joking about being similar in the water, but not so hot when on land, said that I would one day be disabled. That we all would be as we aged. Whether we needed a mobility device, some other aid to make our lives easier or just had to slow way down to keep our lives running nicely. No more sprinting through the grocery store, grabbing a few things as we hurried, no more running to the basement to get to the toolbox, no more bending ourselves under the sink to repair a leaking pipe. 

Ya know what? She was right.

Do not fear acknowledging your disability. Own it. 


  1. No I don't. But, I know many who do. I liked that you wrote "You either become disabled or you die first." Many times I have said about myself when I can't hear what someone says or I can't see something important, "It beats the alternative". Meaning no longer being in this world. The stigma of a mental disability is especially heartbreaking, resulting in so many folks forgoing treatment.

  2. You have to have grown up in the 40's to remember those conversations by your parents or their friends. I am so glad it has changed.
    Donna, my spouse was a licensed clinical social worker before she retired. She saw many folks with mental disabilities and I would like to think helped many of them. I know she did because all these years later, she gets phone calls and thank you letters. At least the stigma is being lifted a bit. We are progressing. It just takes so very long


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