At this time tomorrow, I will still be in surgery. It starts at 11 AM. it should take three hours, depending on how it goes. How do I feel? I’m queasy and anxious today. They told me to stop taking ibuprofen as of this past Friday, so my arthritis is bad right now. tylenol does not cut it. sigh. i’m anxious, scared but also weirdly eager just to get it done!
An Unwanted Journey
I am embarking on an unwanted journey. It’s not the trip to Paris of which I’ve dreamed for fifty years. It’s not a trip to the desert. It’s a journey through kidney cancer.
In February 2021, I had to have a physical to begin training with my new guide dog, Shani. I saw a physician’s assistant, Mark, who works with the internist I have as my primary care doc. I don’t like the internist. She talks down to me, knew pretty much nothing about JRA, and spoke to my friend Joylene, instead of to me. But Mark was different. He oozes compassion. He knew about JRA, asked informed questions about my joint replacements and generally came off as respecting me. So, I felt confident to tell him about something that had been bothering me.
For a couple months, I’d been having pain when I had to pee, pain before and after. It didn’t feel like a UTI, but I thought that was probably it, or maybe a kidney infection. Mark ran a urine test and it turned out there was blood in my urine. He had me come back twice to run the test again with the same results. After the third one, he ordered a renal ultra sound and referred me to a urologist.
All my test results are online at the site for my health care facility, so I read the test results once they were submitted. It showed I had a tumor in my left kidney. The urologist ordered a CT scan of the left kidney, and the results showed there is a renal carcinoma. Yeah cancer in my left kidney. I am scheduled to have the kidney removed on April 20, 2021.
This freaks me out, honestly. The urologist says it hasn’t spread to other tissue, and that removing my left kidney will solve the problem, but I’m still scared. What if they find it has spread? My dad died of lymphoma cancer, and I have too many vivid memories of what that did to him, between the cancer and the chemo.
I don’t want this. I don’t want this. I do not want this! I know, I know, millions of people live with only one kidney. I’m trying to find reading material about living with one kidney. Are there dietary changes I’ll need to make? Will any of my meds be problematic? My JRA is the type that is systemic, so it can cause damage to the kidneys, among other internal organs. Will there be more risk to my lonely right kidney? I’m scared, okay, I’m scared.
Everyone is trying hard to be positive with me. It’s going to be okay. You’ll do great. No problem. I end up feeling like I can’t express my fear and the terrible constant buzzing in the back of my mind wondering what’s going to happen. My logic knows I’ll be just fine. But I’ve had terrible experiences with surgery, all those joint replacements. My heart, my emotions are just scared, and I want to scream it out to the world. It’s human nature to think, such and such could never happen to me. Of all the health issues in the world, I never thought it would be cancer. It’ll never happen to me. But it did. Sigh.
For people reading this who may not know, JRA stands for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
Hi all, I have a serious update about what’s going on in my life. I had to have a physical before training with my new guide dog, shani. I happened to mention to the doctor that I was having some pain when I go to the bathroom. He did a test and we discovered blood in my urine. After two more tests with similar results, he had me get an ultra sound and referred me to a urologist. That doctor had me also get a CT scan of my kidneys. It turns out I have a large tumor in my lfet kidney and it is cancer. On April 20, I am having surgery to have my left kidney removed. I’m pretty freaked and scared, even though my head knows that millions of people live without one kidney and don’t have negative repercussions. But my dad died of cancer, so for me and my brothers and sister, the word cancer freaks us out. They don’t think the cancer has spread outside the kidney, so removing it should mean no chemo or anything like that.
Great news! On Monday, yes this coming Monday, I will begin training with a new guide dog from Guiding Eyes for the Blind, GEB. I have been without a dog for a year and a half. I’ve never been so long without a dog since I got my first in 1975 at age 17. I’m so excited! I won’t give details until my trainer says it’s okay, but the dog has been living with me since Monday, so we can begin to bond. She is adorable, an absolute darling, and I am already head over heels totally in love! Follow the journey here if you’re interested!
By D. A. Charles
Today, I’m writing about the release of a new book, Shattered, by D. A. Charles. I’ll be back later with a full review, but I’ve been involved with this story, in one way or another, for nearly ten years, and I’m thrilled that the release is finally here!
As a disabled person—I am totally blind and have been since about age five—it’s frustrated me all my life that disability representation in the arts, books, movies, TV and so forth, has been so lacking. And if disabled people are there, we’re often portrayed unrealistically as helpless or superhuman. Often we are given miraculous healing that is not possible even today, and we’re almost never shown as living a real life, doing the things every person wants to do, growing up in a normal family, going to school, getting a job, falling in love. I have always wanted to change that, to do my small part and write stories and books that will show people like me in ways that anyone can relate to. My genre is romance, and my dream is to write stories with the usual romance genre foundation but with characters who just happen to be disabled, and yet the stories won’t necessarily be about the disability, or what I call the how-I-live-life-as-a-blind-person stories. This was why I wrote my fan fiction story, seeing Bella. My book release day will come soon, but today is all about my friend and what her book means to me!
In the midst of writing Seeing Bella, I came across Impact. I’d found it! Another story giving a true and believable presentation of disabled characters, but a story showing all the depth of being human, grief, anger, struggle, loneliness, despair, joy, success, romance, and love. These themes are universal, and there they were! I cared deeply about the story, deeply about the characters, and though the story dealt with their issues of dealing with new disability, the universal themes together with the disability issues, drew me in and made me love them fiercely. This was the kind of thing I’d wanted to read ever since the first time a teacher put my hands on a braille book!
I reached out to Denise and we became dear friends. We talked about many things as the story was being written. And when the time came to think about publishing it, she asked me to be part of the team. It meant the world to me that she asked, and I was committed to help her make Shattered into the best it could possible be. She is a brilliant writer with a true gift for telling us a story that will live in our souls. Today, as Shattered is released, I feel so proud, proud of and for my friend, proud that I was a part of it in some small way, and oh so joyful. To see her dream come true.
The beauty of shattered is that we can all read these characters and relate to them through our own human experience. We can learn as we grieve and cheer for them, and we can know that whatever and whoever we are, abled or disabled, any race, any nationality, any gender and sexuality, what makes us human, makes us one with each other. We’re really not that different after all. Words from a song by country singer Collin Raye say it better:
“I laugh; I love; I hope; I try,
I hurt; I need; I fear; I cry,
And I know you do the same things too,
So, we’re really not that different, me and you.”
As we read shattered and lose ourselves in the world of the book, we can all see the truth of those words, we really aren’t all that different.
I’ve loved Les Miserables for thirty years, ever since a friend first introduced me to the original London cast album. I played it over and over, learn all the parts by heart. It touched my soul in a deep way, reaching every part of me and bring out every emotion. I’ve never gotten over it. I saw it in 1990 in San Francisco. I saw it in Seattle in the early 2000’s. I saw it this past July in Denver. I have the original London cast CD, the complete symphonic recording, the tenth anniversary concert album and DVD, the twenty-fifth anniversary concert DVD, and the 2012 movie DVD and CD. All I can say is that excepting only the original London cast, the one that first stole my heart, all the other pale next to the 2018 National Touring cast!
I could attend Les Miz every year and never get tired of it. When I first saw it live, at the finale when they sang, “Will you join in our crusade, who will be strong and stand with me?”, I was ready to get up and go, biting my tongue to keep from screaming out, “Me, Me, I’ll go, I’ll go!” Les Miz has affected me that way every time. I still cry. I still get chills at the finale. I still want to scream that I’ll go and want to jump up and join them at the barricades. So, I was thrilled when I heard it was coming to Denver this summer.
I invited my friend and her daughter, and we made an evening of it. We had dinner at the Limelight café in the theatre complex. We stopped at the customer service counter to pick up my braille program. We took our seats in the orchestra level, and I could barely contain my anticipation. I was not disappointed. I was in awe, blown away, stirred even more than ever before. When it was over, I only wished I could sit right back down and watch the whole thing again, and again, and again.
The cast. What can I say about this cast? How can I express how incredible they were? Nick Cartell was the most amazing Valjean I have ever heard. His passion and emotion, his way of singing softly, then belting, giving us the exact right sound for whatever he was singing. He wrang emotion out of me, emotion I thought Les Miz couldn’t reach anymore, because I thought every previous viewing or listening had gotten it all. When he sang “Bring Him Home”, I was spellbound, not even sure I breathed, during the whole thing! I have to admit, that particular song has never been a favorite of mine. Audiences usually love it and cheer it, but my attitude has so often been ho-hum, is it over. Until now. I was on the edge of my seat, listening for the slightest note, weeping as he cried out Valjean’s desperate plea. That song will never be ho-hum to me again. That’s just one example of all the ways he drew new feelings, new chills, new joy and grief from me.
Then there was Josh Davis, as Javert. I’ve always found Javert an interesting complex character, but in some ways, his big numbers have never really thrilled me. Josh Davis blew the roof off those feelings. Compelling and powerful, his performance made me feel things I’d never felt during the Javert scenes before. I felt sorry for this rigid man who could not understand mercy and forgiveness, and I cried at his suicide for all the depth of life this character missed.
The chemistry between those two characters, Valjean and Javert had me on the edge of my seat every time they were together in a scene. They clicked, for lack of a more flowery way to express it. Two powerful characters, played by two incredible performers. Their scenes sizzled and popped. I could believe in them, in their animosity, Javert’s quest and pursuit of Valjean; Valjean’s efforts always to outwit Javert; the eventual mercy of Valjean and the inability to accept of Javert.
Joshua Grosso as Marius was a pleasant surprise. I’ve never really liked any of the guys who’ve played Marius since Michael ball. Nobody else seemed to express the first innocence of and then the grief of this character. Nobody had the anguish to compete with Michael ball’s rendition of “Empty chairs at Empty tables”> I wasn’t expecting to feel any differently this time, but that was okay with me. I’d already been so engrossed in the other performances, if Marius wasn’t the best, I could live with it. Well, here was another person who took me to places I’d never been with this show, who made me feel that grief and pain all over again. I thought of the loved ones in my life who have died, and I wanted to cry out with Marius against the grief. It was just brilliant!
Jillian Butler played Cosette. This was another role that hasn’t thrilled me much since the original cast. I never thought anyone sounded great up on the high notes, or they didn’t blend well with whoever was playing Marius. But there she was, another one who took all my low expectations and blew them away. She was beautiful. My friend who had also seen Les Miz before said the same thing. She was the best Cosette I’d ever heard. She captured that sense of young love, of longing for more than what she had, but searching for something different. Her scenes with Marius made my heart ache from the beauty of their harmony. Another one who left me breathless.
Emily Bautista was a passionate, perfect Eponine. When she sang “On my Own” I just wanted to hug her and tell her it would be okay. She grabbed my heartstrings from the start and never let go. I could imagine her pain, how he’d had such a miserable life, and this one boy was the only person who had shown her kindness. Her death scene left me in tears.
Mary Kate Moore as Fantine. What can I say? I feel I’ve used every superlative there is. Fantine’s story has always broken my heart, and the same thing happened this time. She breathed new life into her scenes, causing me to feel all the sorrow again, aching for this girl who had been so mistreated by so many. Tears were pouring down my face as she sang “I dreamed a Dream”>
I really could go on and on. As I flip through my braille program, I could think of things to say about every scene, every character, every moment. The ensemble was fantastic; the orchestra was exceptional; all the parts together were beyond extraordinary. Just thinking about the experience, my heart is beating a little faster, my soul is aching a little more. I only wish there could be a cast album, but there’s never cast albums of national tours. I wish there could be a DVD, so I could play it over and over. I’d never get enough, and I’d share it with everyone I know.
For thirty years, Les Miserables has been my favorite musical, and this cast showed me again why I love it so much. They brought my love of this show to new heights. I salute them all for their hard work and their wonderful portrayals of these iconic characters, their beautiful takes on these great songs. How I wish I could see it again!
Oh yes, and if you’re wondering, at the end, during the finale, after I pulled myself together following Valjean’s death, when they sang, “will you join in our crusade, who will be strong and stand with me?” Yeah, I had to grasp the arms of my chair, hold myself back, bite my tone, in order to keep myself from jumping up and screaming, “I will, I will! I’ll join the crusade!”
Book review, The Six, by K. B. Hoyle
I first fell in love with the Gateway chronicles when the series was originally issued by another publisher. I loved the world of Cedar Cove and fell head over heels for Alitheia and all the people we met there. I’ve read and reread the series since then, and I was thrilled to hear about the rereleases this summer, enjoying the added tidbits that don’t change the story, but make it even more rich!
Darcy Pennington, age thirteen in this first book, does not want to go to the Cedar cove family camp. She wants to go bac to the horse-riding camp she’d attended before. She’s in a foul mood when she and her parents and younger brother arrive, and that mood isn’t made any better by the exuberant attentions of Samantha Palm, a girl who is trying hard to be Darcy’s new best friend. Through Samantha, Darcy meets the other four campers who have all been coming to cedar cove for years, and who have been friends with Samantha all those years. Darcy desperately wants to have friends, but she’s also shy and doesn’t like herself much. She has trouble accepting the genuine kindness and loyalty of Samantha. She makes mistakes, feels awkward, is scared, full of anxiety, and yet, truly is sorry for the mistakes and tries to be her best.
Through what Darcy thinks to be accident, she stumbles into, and eventually leads the others to a magical alternate land called Alitheia, where the colors are brighter, magic is real, and there are funny and fascinating creatures to meet, in particular, Narks, creatures I love completely and still wish I could meet! The six teenagers soon learn they have embarked on a new adventure, where they are part of a prophesy foretelling the hope for freedom from an evil oppressor. And so, the adventure begins, for the Six, and for anyone who reads thisincredble book.
I related to Darcy the first time I read this and relate more every time since. I wel remember being her age and being that girl in the corner, ignored on the playground, wishing I had friends, but so terribly shy, I really didn’t know how to put myself out there to meet them. I found myself alternating between wanting to give Darcy a good shake or a good hug and always wanting to tell her it would get better.
Some people have compared these books to Narnia, but to me, they are far better. I found Narnia, boring with characters I didn’t care about, not only is it allegorical, but it beats you over the head with the allegory, to the point for me, of making me not enjoy the stories at all. But K B Hoyle’s Gateway Chronicles gives me much more. Believable characters with strengths and flaws with which I can relate, a magical land of endless fascination, a cause I cared deeply about, an adventure I never wanted to end. Much like my reaction when I first read the Harry Potter books, I wanted this adventure to go on and on. I often joke that here I am, sixty years old, still waiting for my Hogwarts letter. Well, here I am, sixty years old, looking and looking for a magical gateway into Alitheia, where I too can join the adventure.
What can I say that hasn’t been said so many times before? The raves for Hamilton have been universal since it took the world by storm in 2015. Words like incredible, amazing, fantastic, have flown around, and I certainly can’t find any better ones to express what seeing Hamilton meant to me. However, I did see Hamilton yesterday, and before the feelings of joy and wonder fade in the daily grind of normal life, I’ll try somehow to tell about my experience.
I’ve been a subscriber to the Denver Theater company for the past three years. So, when it came time to renew last year, for the 2017-2018 season, I did so, though I still didn’t know what shows would be in the season. And then, I got the list, and I was thrilled and blown away to discover that Hamilton was coming here! Even if I didn’t get down to any other show in the season, the cost of my subscription would be well worth the price, just to get Hamilton. So, I’ve had my tickets, or at least my place for tickets for over a year. We didn’t actually get the physical tickets until about a month before the show.
So, yesterday was my day, March 10, 2018. For about two months, I’d been gradually counting down the days, putting out on twitter, sixty days, fifty-two days, forty-five days, twenty-nine, fifteen, and suddenly, it was less than ten days, less than a week, and I was down to counting hours! And then, yesterday dawned, and the day was upon me, at last!
I’d heard that the show was loud, and I’d heard the gunfire and cannons were loud, so I decided to leave my guide dog, Petunia, with a friend. As things turned out, I didn’t need to leave her. The cannons and guns weren’t very loud. I’d had her in the movie theater for the Last Jedi back in December, and if she could handle that, the sound effects in Hamilton wouldn’t have bothered her. But she had a fun day with my friend’s daughter, who just happens to be one of the people who raised her as a puppy, and she got to play with their dog, another golden retriever. And by leaving her with them, I didn’t have to worry and could just relax. Hmmm, well, relax is not exactly one of the many words I’d use to describe my reactions and attitude during the show!
My friend Sandie picked me up in the morning a little after 10:00. I’d gone out the day before and bought a new dress and shoes. I’d really wanted to find something to wear comparable to what women of the period might have worn, but that ended up being impossible, so I decided to forego my usual casual attire and dress up a bit. We stopped first at the vet office where Sandie works and had Petunia’s annual physical. We left her there with Sandie’s daughter for the day and started our drive down to the theater.
We arrived and got parked in plenty of time. We got an elevator up to the theater level right away and joined the throngs of people lining up to get in the theater lobby. The theater recently installed metal detectors, so we all had to go through that. Thankfully, when someone from the theater saw my white cane, they took us to the “accessibility entrance” where we were hand-wanded. My cane and my artificial joints would set off a normal metal detector. Once that was done, we handed in our tickets, and the attendant taking tickets verified them and promptly returned them to us, to keep as souvenirs. Not a stub, the whole ticket. We hurried over to the customer service counter to pick up my braille program and then headed for the elevator to go up to our seats.
The doors weren’t open yet, so we hung out with the rest. I got a glass of wine, and then Sandie happened to mention that they were selling official Hamilton Merchandise up there too! I nearly squealed with delight and we hurried over to pick things out. I’m not normally the type to get merch, except the album in a case like a musical, and of course, I already had it! But they had cool t-shirts and I wish I could have purchased them all! I settled for a shirt in red saying, “I’m just like my country, young, scrappy and hungry” and I got a mug that says wait for it and says Hamilton on the handle. Why isn’t it t-shirt weather yet?
At last they opened the doors, and Sandie and I, wine, totes with merch, white cane, braille program and all the rest in hand, made our way to our seats. Was this really happening? Was I truly, at last, just thirty minutes away from hearing those first notes? After so very long of waiting, was I finally in an audience about to see Hamilton? I almost couldn’t believe it! I spent the final minutes reading my program, learning about our cast, and wishing the show would start! And right on time, finally, the moment arrived.
From the first notes of that familiar opening, From Aaron Burr’s first lines, I was captivated, utterly spellbound. And really, that feeling hasn’t faded even today. I hadn’t avoided listening to the cast album as others had suggested. I knew the dynamics of the show would be different, different actors and singers, different styles, different ways of interpreting the material. Unless one has had the opportunity to see a show on Broadway with the original cast, seeing even the national touring cast is not the same thing as what we hear on the albums. So, I wasn’t worried about that. And yet, it did catch me off guard a bit, until the performances flowed around me and swept me away. In fact, the whole thing grabbed hold of me and my emotions and didn’t let go.
I had an intensely emotional reaction even in the first song. The ensemble is singing, “In New York you can be a new man,” and Hamilton is singing, “just you wait”. And then the ensemble sang, “Alexander Hamilton, we are waiting in the wings for you”. And I burst into tears. I had waited so long, I had been waiting in the wings of life, of days and days of work, days and days of waiting, days and days of normality, going by, sometimes rushing by, sometimes dreary and bland. And suddenly, I was really here, I was in this audience, and this cast was singing and performing, and it was real. No more counting days and hours. I’d been waiting in the wings for so long, and now, this wasn’t another listen to the cast album, this was it! Hamilton was happening all around me, and I was there, a part of it!
Every minute of the show from then on was magical. I laughed; I cried: I cheered and screamed and clapped until my hands tingled and my throat was parched. Sometimes, I’d start out thinking, Hmm, I’m not sure about this person’s voice or how that person is interpreting that role. But those thoughts lasted about two seconds, before I was again mesmerized by that same actor I’d just been almost questioning. Each actor made their part their own and brought new life to it for me. I’m saying actor, because though this is a sung-through musical, it’s an intense and emotional story, and the performers needed to sing it and act it. They went beyond my hopes and expectations, breathing new life into parts that already flogged my emotions and making me feel and love parts I hadn’t liked so much before. At the end, I wished I could find the whole cast, hug them all at once and thank them for making this one of the greatest events of my life! I never wanted it to end.
When it was over, we made our way back down, out to the car and back to Sandie’s house to pick up her daughter and my dog. We had dinner out at an Italian restaurant where I had the best lasagna I’ve had in years. And then we came home. I don’t really remember much of the rest of the night! The adrenaline and emotion seem to rush out of me the minute I shut the door behind my friends, and I was emotionally and physically exhausted! And every bit of the exhaustion was worth it.
Wonderful, superb, magnificent, inspiring, emotional, touching, moving, marvelous, incredible, amazing, terrific, stunning, maybe all these words have been used in the past to describe Hamilton. Maybe I can’t find any better ones. But all those words perfectly describe my experience yesterday. Every word of praise is deserved. I experienced every emotion throughout the show, but the greatest of those feelings for me, the things I’ll most remember feeling are the joy and wonder of finally being there, and of the fact that there was not one minute when the show, the music the words and the performances left me feeling an ounce less joy and wonder.
Thanks with my whole heart, to the staff at the Buell Theatre in Denver, for their professionalism and their commitment to complete accessibility. Thanks with all my heart to the cast, those who performed the show originally and recorded the cast album that has been an obsession for nearly two years. Thanks with my whole heart to the cast who performed so brilliantly for us all yesterday. And thanks, most of all, to Lin-Manuel Miranda for created this piece of art in the first place! If anyone reading this hasn’t had the chance to see Hamilton yet, if you get the chance, don’t throw away your shot! As for me, I’ll be telling the story of yesterday for a long time to come.
February 16, 2018
Where is the outrage? Where are the cries of wrath from all the liberals and conservatives? Yes, this has been a terrible week for our country. Seventeen lives snuffed out in an act of murder that could have been prevented. Yes, there is an indictment that another country has been interfering in our election process, something that seems akin almost to an act of war. But something else, equally as dreadful in its way happened this week. In the so-called land of the free, where is the outcry when a whole minority group has had its civil rights blasted to pieces?
What is it you might ask? After all, you probably haven’t heard one word about it on the news. Yesterday, February 15, 2018, the US House of Representatives voted to pass HR620, a bill that in essence guts the Americans with disabilities act, ADA. We still fight for our equality and opportunity, and our supposed representatives pull the damn rug out from under us, in favor of kissing the asses of business.
So, here’s what this bill will do. A disabled person goes to a place of public accommodation. Note that this can be a restaurant, a theater, a store, a mall, a baseball game, any place where the public is welcome to go for business or pleasure. Something about this place hinders the disabled person from being able to enter or participate in the activities. This could be no wheelchair ramp or elevator, denial of access to a person with a service dog, anything that prevents the disabled person from being able to use the public accommodation along with everyone else. And by the way, there are protections for companies that might be too small, or buildings that were built before the ADA became law and where it might be a hardship to change. The bill now says that if a public place is not accessible, the disabled person must write a letter pointing this out and requesting that the business or whatever it is change to make things accessible. And they have six months to do this. Does anybody out there, other than we who have disabilities, understand what this means? Supposedly, this is to eliminate the frivolous ADA lawsuits that proponents of this bill claim are practically an epidemic.
Do you know that in an ADA lawsuit, the plaintiff cannot receive any monetary reward, even if they win?
Do you know that the ADA has been the law of this land since 1990? And yes, it was a Republican president who signed it into law? Do you think businesses still need six months to make the accommodations that would guarantee equal access? Does any other civil rights law give the abuser of the law six months to make things right?
Make no mistake, this is a matter of civil rights. And as soon as people start seeing it as such, things might actually begin to change. I fight for the civil rights of others. Is it too much to expect that others, in turn, would fight for mine?
Can you imagine any other minority group being told they must write a letter to request equal access to anything and then they must give that place six months to comply? Would any other minority group tolerate this? Fuck no! Absolutely not! If this happened to people of other races beside white, to other religions, to women, to gays, to any minority, the outcry would ring through the streets. There would be protests, marches, speeches, twitter would blow up with the comments and RT’s.
So, where is the outcry, where is the damned outrage? Why is everyone, on either side of the damned aisle so silent? Our House of Representatives, basically just told millions of Americans that we do not count, and our equality and our opportunity and our access to the fucking American Dream aren’t important enough even to fight for and stand for the measly piddly laws we already have.
We’re supposed to shut up and keep still and take what we can get with humble gratitude. I feel like Oliver Twist, reaching out with my empty bowl and asking meekly, “Please sir, I want some more.”
Well, I am not going to be meek. I am not going to ask humbly. I am not going to be silent. I will not shut up and learn my place. I am outraged. I will be outraged. I will not cease to cry out against the injustice. I will work to vote out any of my state’s representatives who voted for this travesty. I have fought every day of my life since childhood to be independent and equal. My parents taught me that I am as good as anyone else. I expect the rest of the world to see me that way as well. I will never stop. And damn it, I work full time, I pay taxes, I participate in this country, I vote! Is it too much to ask that I share equally in the wonders and freedoms of this country?
It is the frigging twenty-first century! Are we always going to be kept as second or third-class citizens? Will our fellow Americans continue to turn away and refuse to fight as fiercely for our rights as they would for any other group who does not have equality? Shouldn’t we expect our fellows to speak out and fight for our rights as strongly as they do for immigrants—a cause by the way, with which I am in wholehearted support.
Someone I knew once said, that the able-bodied world masturbates their egos on disabled people. Crude maybe, but often it seems so so true. When I was young, I heard over and over, “You just have to understand. This or that person isn’t used to being around someone who is blind.” What bullshit! Does blindness define who I am? It is part me, as is my silver hair, my five feet stature, the shape of my face. But it’s not who I am inside. Isn’t it time for the rest of the damn world to stop and think, instead of us having to understand that you are uncomfortable, it’s time for you to understand that we are just people. We laugh, we love, we hope, we try. We hurt, we need, we fear, we cry. So, are we really that different?
This bill now goes to the senate. If you live in the US and vote, please contact your Senators and tell them not to pass this piece of crap law. It will only throw us back down the hill we have struggled so hard to climb.
Come on! Stand up! Cry out! Speak out! Be concerned, be pissed, and be downright outraged! Never accept that any of your fellow citizens should be less than any other citizen in this supposedly great country!
Where is the outrage? Come on, let’s hear it! Let’s raise a cry as loud as any cry over injustice. Because that’s what this is, injustice. Putting the burden on the people the original law was meant to protect.
Yes, I’m outraged. I’m fucking outraged. And I will stay outraged, as long as it takes!
This is just a brief post to test if the site is back to normal and eassy to use again. I had accessibility nightmares last time, hence why I’ve been silent. Working fifty hours a week doing adaptive tech support, I don’t want to fight with tools and sites in my free time.