BY Katherine E Itacy
Beyond the isolation of disability is self-awareness.
Days upon days of unending limitations and the shame of an unproductive life;
Grieving the abilities lost to an ailing body,
The possibilities, once so feasible and imminent,
Now a bittersweet fantasy.
And yet, new possibilities emerge –
Moments of gratitude and insight unparalleled to those of the past,
Unmatched by those fully “able.”
Beyond the loss is a new strength;
The resilience of staying alive, a badge of courage.
The economy of energy spent, a feat of ingenuity.
The yearning to live a full life, one of substance and impact –
Perhaps unattainable without physical or mental hardship.
Beyond our limitations is progress.
Beyond others’ judgment and pity is freedom.
Beyond the expected are lives of authenticity and value.
Beyond our perceived “otherness” are lives as varied and significant
As those you hold dear.
Beyond our disabilities is our collective humanity.