THE GRIP OF GRACE

This summer I took a college course were we went on a field trip to Pilot Knob Hill—a sacred Native American site. Getting off the bus, I noticed the route we were taking started with partially paved road that went on for a ways and then abruptly ended. Walking the first leg of the journey was easy, but beyond the

The Preciousness of the Soul

This week three of my friends and I met in a park for a picnic. An hour later, a spouse showed up unexpectedly with a camera wanting to take a picture of us. We all erupted in spontaneous protest. “No, don’t take a picture!” “My hair’s too poofy!” “My pants are too big!” “I’m wearing a T-Shirt!” In the end,

Revealing Beauty In Deformity

“When you meet me, you’re going to notice that I walk with a limp.” I was talking to a match I had been paired with through eHarmony for a while and it was time to meet for a date. “The reason I walk the way I do is because I have very mild cerebral palsy. I don’t want you to

A Beautiful Mind

What constitutes a beautiful mind? Is it one that perceives sound, seamlessly tells skeletal muscles to move, or brings words to the mouth without an utterance of a stutter? Is a mind beautiful when it enables an artist to paint a masterpiece, compose a concerto, or write a best-seller? Is there beauty to be found in the calculations of an

Finding My Voice

“I hate the phrase ‘cerebral palsy.’” I began to weep openly in front of my counselor. I brought my hand up to my face covering my mouth to muffle the cry that I could feel rising my throat. My eyes started to overflow with tears, spilling down, wetting my cheeks. “I can’t even say the words.” Surpassed only by the

The Gift of Pain

The Gift of Pain “You’re no stranger to pain.” I looked at him, taking in his observation. Like it or not, he was right. Pain and I have become well acquainted. If I were honest with myself, I would admit that I have experienced inconsistent low-level back pain for about a decade. It’s usually a dull ache that comes and

Love, See, Teach

Last night I was forwarded some information about a breaking news story. A 10 year old boy with autism was being bullied in his classroom by his teachers. You can read the story or watch the video here: http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/nj-father-records-teachers-bullying-his-autistic-child. In response, the boy’s father, Stuart Chaifetz, made a YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfkscHt96R0) expressing his opinions, calling for a public apology, and

Rock Star Parking

My friend looked at me and said, “Jenny, we’re going downtown this weekend. I’ll drive, but since you’re coming with us, I was wondering if you could bring your…. [insert awkward pause and silence]…” “Rock Star permit?” I offer. Exhale. Sigh of relief. “Yes!” She smiled. “Your Rock Star parking permit!” Recently I had a friend text me this picture:

Bridging The Gap

I recently had the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with a friend of mine who also lives with a disability. As we were talking, I realized something very unique was taking place…we actually could relate to one another’s experiences. I found it refreshing, nourishing even to find someone else who could really understand on a personal level what it

CELEBRATE LIFE

“So, you have two children, right?” I asked with interest. “We have two children now.” He paused, looking down at the floor. “We had three children. My wife had some troubles during her first pregnancy. Our daughter didn’t live past six months. She would have been a senior in high school this year.” Our conversation stopped for a moment. We