I guess I should start with the Forest Gump quote: “Life’s a box of chocolates. You’ll never know what you’re gonna get”.
Let’s back up five years. I was working on an inventory project at Museum Village and there were different groups doing this project. We had to catalog twenty-five thousand different artifacts and then, the museum would decide what to keep and what to sell. In my group, there were two college students and they were fantastic to me. They would talk to me and we just got along so well. I never thought I would see either one of them again.
Fast forward five years. Now, sitting home alone gets lonely. I lost contact with one of the guys I worked with. He was into landscaping and I was wondering if he got his degree and started working. I went to my support group last night and I was offered a seat near a short-haired guy in a wheelchair. We greeted each other and I asked him his name. He gave me his name. Something sparked me. I asked him if he worked at Museum Village. He said yes. I start freaking out, body moving. I asked what happened. He had meningitis. He was diagnosed with it twice and the second time, his uncle who was a surgeon amputated his fingers and toes due to poor blood circulation.
Be kind to people with disabilities. You never know what could happen to you. People get paralyzed in accidents, get sick or a number of other things. You just can’t assume that you’ll be the way you are for the rest of your life. Our health can change and we just don’t know when or how it will. We need to respect people with disabilities because we just don’t know what could happen to us.