In Awe Of My Home and my Community
As I stay home to isolate from the COV-19 virus, my mind and all five senses are being honed gently and gradually as I appreciate my house and my community.
I strolled my neighborhood sidewalks during the Spring. I was in such awe of the landscapes in my neighborhood displaying bold and subtle colors of nature and schemes. Cactus flowers, aromatic lavender plants and wild flowers scattered among the landscapes. I felt the cool breeze on my face and soaked in all the beauty around me. Mountains that surround my neighborhood are like protective shields. Powerful and Ominous. Arizona sunsets lit up the skies with their beautiful colors of coral, rose, peach and gray. Arizona has big skies.
Educate Others About Your Disability
Hello, my name is Robin and I am a person with a visible disability, I stutter. There is a genetic link to stuttering in my family. My father stuttered since age 3 and grew out of it in his twenties. My older brother stuttered from early childhood to age 12. He tells me that he still “still stutters in his head.” Not quite sure what that means but I trust him. I began to stutter around age 9 when my family moved to Arizona. I believe that the combination of the family stress and the genetic predisposition triggered my stuttering. I became embarrassed about my communication disorder and tried to hide it as much as possible. I avoided talking on the phone to people who did not know me and the phone can be a significant barrier for people who have speech disorders. Any silence at the other end of phone line put pressure on me to speak rapidly but anxiety and speech blocks got in my way of communication. I viewed stuttering as an abnormal way of speaking and a nuisance but it was only one aspect of me as a person. I attended Arizona State University and got a Bachelor degree in Speech and Hearing Science and a Master of Counseling degree. I had a lot of support from my professors in the Speech and Hearing department who encouraged me to become a Speech Therapist. My academic performance and social relationships were very high at the University level so I was incognizant about how my disability would affect my ability to gain employment or find a spouse.
Where my love, have you gone
Should I call out your name, are you too
Far away to hear my voice.
Would you know my name,
Am I any longer a familiar voice
Would you turn your head or look away.
I held your hand as it grew cold
Your familiar touch was lost in a moment
Your eyes held a stare as if glazed with time itself
You were there but then you were gone
You slipped away without a sound
Where, my love, have you gone
We had talked of this many times before
I always thought I was prepared
I was with you, together, now I am alone
Did I see you or did I blink
For that moment, that instant, I had not prepared
Where, my love, have you gone.
by Danny Bazil Riley
Received the The Dubose and Dorothy Heyward Society Prize
You Have No Idea
As a person living with a disability, you may not think twice about the things you do to
compensate. Or, you may not give a second thought to the impact you have on others
involved in your life. I’ve read articles and seen videos where the presenter is disabled
and doesn’t want to be viewed as inspirational or as a motivational poster child. My
brother and I talk about the 3-legged squirrel and how he does what he has to and knows no different. But to us, it’s really cool and pretty amazing. So, like it or not, I can tell you first hand, you have the power to motivate and inspire others. Here’s a little poem on the effect that my brother Steve has on me.
I realize that “disabled” doesn’t necessarily mean “not abled.” In many ways you are more able than me. But the lines between the two are blurred, and I don’t know when it’s OK for me to use my able-ness to assist you with your disabled-ness.
As we simultaneously approach the entrance to the grocery, should I hold the door open for your wheelchair? Push carts out of the way to ease your path? I know you can manage these things yourself…so is it insulting for me to offer an assist? What should I do?
Now I Understand...
Basically, M and I were on a motorcycle trip and on the last morning I woke up and my back hurt. Took some pain pills and lay down for an extra hour and then woke up to shower. Lifted my right leg and it went numb. We decided that a 900 pound bike with a 175 pound passenger and 100 pounds of luggage plus me on a numb leg and having to stop a minimum of 12 times (we counted them) was unlikely to work well. SO, we called Enterprise (they pick you up) and left the motorcycle at the motel who was quite gracious and let us park it immediately under a light in full view of the front desk.
What is the meaning of being Disabled?
I have been asked to write a piece for my friend's web site. This is my attempt to pen with my heart the things I have seen which are to me nothing short of miraculous. Disability Road denotes that there is something to be traversed and a destination that must be reached.
A Rest Stop along Disability Road where voyagers get an opportunity to share
stories and read about other
travelers from their perspective
and in their words.