Thursday, June 12, 2008

Because You Made It So ...

"If you wish to believe [that memory and imagination are components of history], do so with the knowledge that nothing is absolutely true nor is it untrue until someone has made it so." Elizabeth Cook-Lynn

In Memory of Harriet McBryde Johnson

"... because you made it so..."

One February a few years back, Harriet McBryde Johnson wrote an article, "Unspeakable Conversations," about our need to educate each other how disability labels devalue "existence" for our children who are tagged with one. She defended our child's right to be who they are, with or without a disability.

As I was re-reading through her article today, I remember that it was also the same February I was writing about my own frustration with being unable to articulate my concern for my daughter's future. The "advocate" label was wearing thin on me. I was losing hope. I asked, what kind of world was I leaving her to?

I feared I was leaving her to a world that still sees her as an object of pity if they see anything at all. A world that continues to see her "being" as only an afterthought. A world where she must wait for people who don't even acknowledge her existence until it's time to fill out the paperwork or change her diaper or feed her.

I had hoped to send a universal message of appreciation and thanks that February to anyone out there who had ever helped another person connect to their own humanity. To anyone who ever gave damn about our children's "being."

I'm glad that Harriet got the message.

Ms. McBryde Johnson's article "Unspeakable Conversations" is linked by clicking HERE.

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