To the Parents that Empower

Dear mom and dad, You didn’t just raise me as your daughter with a disability. You saw much more from the beginning. I was your fourth child. In your eyes, I have always been “normal.” You were the first to teach me determination. Giving up was not an option. We didn’t focus on disability or discuss how my limitations affected …

When the Wheelchair Only Goes So Far

I left my wheelchair on a dock. I parked it there for a few hours. Before I jumped back in it (well, before my dad helped me get in), I looked at it. I mean, really took in what I was seeing: an empty wheelchair. The wheelchair couldn’t go on our friends’ boat. So it stayed on the dock while …

When I Felt Different, part four

I’ve already mentioned that my classmates loved to help me at school. I couldn’t tell you how it started or when, but I have memories of friends helping all the way back to kindergarten. Both of us saw the fun side most of the time. As friends were constantly willing to help, they gave me a sense of belonging and …

When Friends Care in Tangible Ways

This isn’t a story about what we did or where we went. This is a real-life story about friends — when they cared, how they helped in tangible ways, and what that meant. I went to a baseball game earlier in the month. If you don’t know me, you might assume my parents came along for a couple of reasons: 1) I …