I, was born in the dog days of a New England summer, when the heat is so oppressive it pushes you down. When the humidity is so thick you can cut it with a knife. My mother's water broke on my father's favorite recliner, and that was the beginning of my introduction with the world.
My mother went into labor at 28 weeks, in July of 1987. My twin sister came first, a minute later, I came in a much calmer fashion.
My sister was born with a hole in her heart, and the cord wrapped around her neck. She was the heavier of the two of us, weighing a whopping 2 lbs. and 3 ounces. I came in at 1 pound even. We were extremely jaundiced and had to spend three months at the a well known University hospital.
We were miracle babies, and a surprise. Mom and Dad were expecting a bouncing baby boy, to add to their family of three. We were supposed to be the spare to the heir, so to speak. I can imagine my parent's shock at two baby girls!
While we were eventually released from the hospital, my sister lagged behind.
I learned to walk at 9 months, my sister walked weeks before our third birthday. She was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.
My sister is one of my best friends. When she hurts, I hurt. When we celebrate, we celebrate together, even if it is from afar.
As the sister of someone who is disabled, "differently abled", handicapped, (whatever label you want to put on it). I spent a lot of time in hospitals, in Special Education classes. I've been spit on, called a "retard", among many other things along with my sister, and many of my friends.
Most of my friends have a disability. I would never have it any other way. Every person I have ever met with a disability has a courageous spirit, a will to go on and deal with what life throws their way.
That does not mean that every person I have met is friendly, a happy ray of sunshine. Why should they be? Why is that even a stereotype, a stigma? Why can't they feel angry, bitter and upset about their situation? Would you expect to be constantly happy if you were confined to a wheelchair tomorrow?
I try to show my children and others around me to never be ashamed or afraid to talk, befriend to someone who is different from them.
Everyday of the year should be no exception to this, however, we have the International Day of Acceptance on January 20th. Join me in celebrating!
I will proudly display my heart on my sleeve, by wearing my 3E Love gear. 3ELove is a company started by a brother and sister duo, whom wanted to encourage love and awareness for acceptance of people with disabilities.
The three E's are:
- Embrace- Embrace diversity.
- Educate-Educate your community, your friends, relatives, colleagues and children.
- Empower-Empower each other with love, knowledge and acceptance.
#InternationalDayofAcceptance #3ELove #IDOA
Spread the Love!