The Gift of the Disabled
There has been YUUUUGE things on Sparta and the World where it drives a certain kind of people crazy, or more accurately, more crazier than most, when it comes to politics. A lot of concerns, angst, anger, frustration, pearl-clutching, kool-aid drinking, back-and-forth repartees with daggers and rapiers looking for a fatal thrust into their foe. It’s all politics, all the time. Bad, good, ridiculous, WTF, and more, and we willingly partake in it daily.
Politics is a big deal. It affects everyone in some way, and one should not bury their head in the sand because it is a messy business. But at times, one must step back and see other things going on.
For instance, when I put my daughter on the short bus, there are a few other disabled kids already there. Two of them with definite issues always manage to smile at me and say hello. They know they are “different” than others, but they almost always have that smile and kind word ready to go. Unless they are asleep, but I digress. Another kid is confined to a wheelchair with two IV bags, and he talks in a language only God and his angels can understand, yet I say hi to him too. He can smile a little, but it is hard for him.
I had to pick up my daughter today. I got a call that she “exploded” out her pants(Loose bowels) a couple times, and needed to be brought home and showered. When I arrive, several of the more advanced kids were getting ready to go somewhere, and one was by the door talking to…someone… and making gestures, not seeing me. When he finally noticed me trying to get in, he smiled, said hello, and opened the door for me. Someone who has a hard time standing opens the door for me. Inside, one good volunteer is working with the wheelchair kid, sitting him on a ball and helping him balance and work his midsection. Looks awkward as heck, and has to be trying for the kid to endure, yet he does, and the aid lovingly does what he can for him.
After getting my daughter dressed and getting her into my truck, I see another kid using a walker, hunched over, slowly and arduously working his way to a school van to go for a ride. It has to be taxing for him, but he’s got a smile on his face. He likes to go for rides, and despite his hunched-over , struggling gate(and he does this daily, over and over), he’s giddy with excitement. This is his life. No politics, no gov’t worries, only joy in his condition that he gets to do something he really enjoys. A car ride.
The man we bought the house from had a disabled son living in it when we bought it. He had gotten into an accident that damaged his brain, so that he had a hard time talking, and his speech was pretty slurred. Yet he thanked me for buying the house. He could barely. I see him riding around town on his recumbent bike enjoying the life that he has.
These peoples’ struggles and joys are confined to their immediate spheres. They don’t have the ability to comprehend the world as it is. They only have a world as they see it, and comprehension of other things is not in the realm of their critical thinking. Yet they offer a smile, a kind word, and even help if they can despite their condition.
“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Over the years, I got to know some of these kids because of my daughter, and they don’t seem to have many worries. Oh, they can get angry sometimes when they don’t get their way because they cannot understand why they cannot have something or do something. There is no filter on them(like Ziffel!) and they say what they mean and mean what they say. Yet the smile always comes around.
My daughter has what she needs to get by. It’s the only life she has known. Not speaking is probably normal in her mind. Not using the toilet is normal too(but I suspect she does it at times just to get back at me for something. She may be mentally disabled, but she can connive). She has simple things to keep her happy and occupied in her day. No real outside influences to bother her. No news to distract her or make her blood pressure go up. No arguing with others about tax policies of if Sessions is a good man or an idiot. No waiting for McCain to move on. No wondering if Pelosi sexually harassed Ryan, or if McConnell grabbed Feinsteins’ass. Just living in its simplest form. Food, shelter, clothing, attention from daddy.
We go about with stresses from work, the spouse, government, injustice, arguing, anger, sadness, frustration. Sometimes all within one hour. And yet we have a hard time stepping away from it. We keep going back for more. High blood pressure, negativity, backbiting, lather, rinse, repeat.
Somedays I wonder who, exactly, is really disabled.