What Crippled Means

These are not complaints. They are simply facts.

You lose your grip and drop something: anger snaps across your face for an instant before you bury it in your limitless calm.

You drive yourself as you drive your chair. The self is not as well built as the chair.

Containment wells up in you. Always, you push it back down. It doubles in on itself, knotting and tangling. It will not be allowed out.

Pain greets you in flashes and stabs. You make it your friend because you do not want it for an enemy.

The person in the mirror is only a nodding acquaintance.

Everything you do, you do by grit alone. Your willpower is iron or it is nothing. You do all things because you refuse to be someone who cannot.

You startle and your head falls back. It will take several minutes of straining every tendon from neck to fingertips to knees before you can right yourself.

Help.  Always you ask for help. It is your cry from morning to nightfall, and in the night too. And it burns. The word crosses your lips like a thread of poison but come it must.

If you wish to be as good as everyone else, you must be better, too. You speak with greater consideration for others because you know you are a burden. You act with greater efficiency because you do not have all the hours in a day, you have all the hours before your caregiver goes to bed.

You are stronger because your weakness is expected. You are wiser because your stupidity is assumed. You are more understanding, because you are least understood.

You see life from a different angle. The one just four feet off the ground, yes, but more than that– You are shown the best in the world. The kindness, the courtesy, the caring. For some reason, it is your gift to bring out that which is good in others.

You seek daily for greater freedom. Freedom to give back.

One day you will find it.

1 Comment

  1. You have written some great stuff Laura! I love your “what crippled means”. I hope you always keep that positive attitude. I have multiple sclerosis myself and have been using a wheelchair for almost 30 years. Man, that makes me feel old. I can relate to so much that you’ve said. That arm of yours looks really awesome. I like the list of things you can do. Where do you go to school? What grade are you in? I know you’ve lived all over the country, so what has it been like to go to school in a chair? I was 21 when I started using a chair. When did you get your robotic arm? I know I’m not the best writer, but I hope we can correspond. Thanks in advance for your answers to my questions.


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