Sunday, April 26, 2009

confronting obstacles

Abacus has brought so much to our lives and others. She has forced me to challenge things which I was once somewhat passive to, forced me to consider things whether I'd like to or not. 

I remember Danielle saying how when parents are asked about their children being born with normative impairments, whether they would wish them to be born differently, they reply, "No, because I love them how they are." But she raised the point that there is something more than that, more than just the child and loving them for who they are, it is something about a door which opens onto world from which you cannot come back, you see the world from a perspective you had never before imagined, it is an enlightening place that I would not choose to leave if I could. It has illuminated even the most careless shadows of ignorance.  

I write this because of an incident that happened, where a comic was placed on a public noticeboard, I won't say where, but I knew who had done it. I wrote them the email below.

"I understand it was you who put the comic on the notice board about mentally handicapped people. My daughter as you know has Trisomy 21 and I found the comic to be offensive. The offense goes deeper than just a point of taste. It is difficult to see the future of my 10 month old daughter be mapped out in such crude portents. These little pieces of somewhat socially accepted ridicule add up to a wall that puts the subjects of those “jokes” on the outside of normative society. This division is through no fault of their own and the most hurtful part is that it is perpetrated by those who have the mental faculties to make better judgement. 

Having Abacus has been the greatest and most rewarding challenge to any prejudice I have ever harboured. While you might not consider the comic you posted to have been prejudice, it is this misunderstanding of what prejudice is, which proliferates it, and those on the receiving end never miss it."

I wanted to share this with you because these things exist. And if I can impart any of the knowledge I have gained from knowing Abacus, that it can be proliferated in whatever way to cut a path along which her journey through life may be less impeded. 

Just so you know, the person I wrote the email to is not a bad person at all. They were extremely apologetic for it, a gesture which choked me up with its sincerity. I'm sure that it will have a lasting effect on them and me too, to know that standing up for what I see as being wrong has positive outcomes. Abacus has such a profound effect on the world with which she has scarcely even begun to interact. 


P.C. Fergusson said...
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P.C. Fergusson said...

I'm glad your lives have been enriched by your lovely daughter. This blog reminds me of the many unexpected blessings I received from getting breast cancer, chief among them a deep appreciation of my husband of 21 years (now 25), an emotional gift with profound and lasting effects. Humans are funny. So easily misled. So glad when they are finally woken up. I think of your little family often and love to see pictures of Danielle and Abacus. Thanks for writing this blog!