But God Created Me

Yesterday, at a Harvey family reunion, I spent twenty minutes listening to some distant relative try and convince me that I need not suffer because if I had enough faith I would be cured. I answered at least half a dozen times the question: ďWhat is wrong with you?Ē, and I was told at least twice that I did not have to worry because someday I would be able to walk just like everyone else.

These people were trying to comfort me, but I find nothing comforting about an honest belief that there is something wrong with me that needs to be cured and might only be cured after my death.†

For the record, I am not willing to give up my life for the ability to walk independently across a room. It just isnít a fair trade.

My relatives beliefs are not unique.† It is common to fear or want to fix a disability because we donít like to see people suffer.† We believe that people with disabilities are suffering because we know that if we lost whatever abilities we have, which they donít have, we would be suffering.†

People without disabilities have a difficult time imagining life with a disability. Thatís okay. I sometimes have a difficult time imagining what life must be like without one.† This is not to say that there is something wrong with me because there isnít.

I did not experience a catastrophic or life changing event.

I didnít even age into my disability.

The only thing that happened to me was that I was born and I survived.

I know it will sound strange to some people, but God did not curse or punish me with a disability, but rather blessed me with life.† Yes, I have cerebral palsy and my life has been more difficult and complicated because of it. I have had several operations and probably more than my share of pain, but if God exists than I was created to be who I am and not who society thinks that I should be.†God gave me my disability and the unique perspective that surrounds it.† Why would I want to give up that gift simply because it does not fall in line with the status quo?

By Ramona Harvey 10-2-05 (All Rights Reserved)