So many people mean so much to me - they have been there through all of the hard parts of my life - they have taught me life lessons. A very few are:
My cousin Geoffrey - gets us together for the family reunion. Teaches me that by aligning with him, we both win at Monopoly :) (bigger life lessons are there). Sits with my younger brother and me at my older brother's wedding as we look back, smile, and sing to a cheesy 80s song. Listens. Gets the ultrasound "announcement" that Lori is on the way and shouts his excitement in the elevator, then calls me with enthusiasm (not everyone was supportive).
And flip it - endures judgemental comments about "him," when those people
making the comments do not realize who he is. Is afraid to tell us,
his family, who he really is. Once he does, he realizes it's all ok.
My friends Dana and Jen - college friends/roommates. Dana always wants to hear stories about ME and never leaves enough time for stories about HER. Dana strives to understand MS, writes a poem about MS and dancing, thus flipping stereotypes. Dana--willing to do anything. Jen - always busy studying but we went to church together on Sundays during college (very few of us did that!). Jen listens. Dana and Jen are raising a little girl.
Flip it - Dana's parents hated to be at her wedding. Some of her
family is simply not supportive of her. Through her post-college life,
she has struggled to bring them back, but they refuse to accept Dana
for who she is.
These are a few of the people I love. They all experience discrimination. People with disabilities can bond with people like Geoffrey, Dana, and Jen because we seem to understand discrimination and lack of understanding of who we are.
And yet, we don't necessarily make headway. And I'm left at meetings thinking, you have GOT to be kidding me! Do you really think Jesus would reject all of us? I'm pretty sure he would reach out his arms in loving acceptance.