How do we survive living with a handicap, invisible or otherwise? We survive the same way folks without a handicap survive. Except with one big, giant, huge caveat: We gotta have much more humor, chutzpah, cajones, spunk, grit, guts, mettle, etc., than all those boring "normal" people.
We have to practice being able to laugh your ass off, and make it an art. And the most important part of this art is being able to laugh at yourself. If you can't do that, start now. If you can't take a joke or make a joke outta something you find hard to take, begin now. This is essential to survival.
I tell folks that I am so short, I have problems touching the top of my own head and that I am not overweight, I am height-impaired. Additionally, I claim that I am so sexy, if I were tall and svelte, women - and men - would not be able to resist me and world chaos would ensue. Or I am so intelligent that my head could not hold all my brains, so my body had to expand just to accommodate them all
I love telling kid and grandkid stories. This one involves my bestest friend, Chris (we've known each other since we were six years old). We took my red-headed grand daughter, Autumn, and my sweet-as-pie grandson, Martin, on a hike. Autumn was around 8, and Martin, 6. It was pre-left-hip-replacement, so I was using a cane.
At the beginning of hiking trail there was the obligatory sign showing a line through motorized vehicles, dogs on a leash, but one sign with no line through it, showing a person with a hiking stick. Martin looks at the sign and turns to me, all smiles, "MaMa Donna, look... old people with canes have to go on this trail." He was delighted with his observation and so happy I could "legally" hike with him. What do you do? You laugh. Chris and I both laughed, belly laughed.
This next one is a "parking the car" story. I had 3 grandkids with me. The two mentioned above, and their older sister, Alex. Alex was 13 at the time; Autumn and Martin 10 and 8, respectively.
We were doing a Wally-World shop. I couldn't find a handicap spot, so I pulled into a regular spot. Autumn, our drama queen, seated in front with me, began gyrating her arms, and screeching in her high pitched voice, "No, MaMa Donna... NO... NO." I thought, "What the hell?" Alex says, "Autumn, what's wrong?!?!" Autumn, gasping, spurts out, "I don't want the "pole-leace" to arrest MaMa Donna!" Alex, laughing, asks, "For what...?" Autumn replies, "There's no sign here!" Sign? "There's not one'a those wheel chair signs...!"
It all becomes clear to me and Alex: Autumn thought I had to park in a handicap space and, 'cause I didn't, feared the cops were gonna come and get me. Laughter all around.
Another story for the ages.
Ahhh... Have a good day, Althea.