Thursday, January 21, 2010

Easier Because of You

I’m a glass half full person, but that has not always been the case. I mentioned a while back on my blog that I used to be a police officer. For 5 years I worked in the worst areas of my city and witnessed things no one should see. One of the many things that broke my heart were the children that had been abused by their parents. But that was just one of the many horrors that I saw every week as an officer.

Living that day in and day out began to turn me into a very cynical person, and I really did not like the person I was becoming. It was that reason I decided police work was not for me. And ever since then I have made the commitment to myself to have a more positive outlook on life.

It’s not always easy. I am not a Pollyana/Stepford person who turns a blind eye to the suffering in the world, the negative situations that all of us face at times. Stories of child or elder abuse still disgust me – natural disasters and the effects they have on hundreds of thousands of people make me want to jump a plane to go help - news of the poor economy worries me greatly – and the increasing violence in the world scares me more than I can say.

But with maturity I have learned to balance the bad news with the good that exists in the world. And while I don’t ignore that which is negative, I have made a conscious decision to live and project a more positive life. To accomplish that, often I must distance myself from people who have chosen a more negative approach to life.

I continue to surround myself with other glass half full people, people whose approach to life mirrors mine. I had a difficult time finding people like that until I became the parent of a child with a disability.

With a very few exceptions, I have found that parents of children with disabilities approach life with smiles not frowns. These are people who have every right to be negative, but they too have chosen to walk a positive path. I don’t know why this seems to be true. Maybe we feel we need to be positive to balance all the negative comments and low expectations we fear our children will face. Or maybe we realize that we can’t navigate this world of disability alone and we choose community over isolation. Whatever the reason, I want you all to know that you lift me up – you provide the inspiration I need to continue when life gets difficult – you link your arms in mine when I stand on the cliff of despair.

So thank you Lynnette, Jane, Jackie, Bradford, Heike, Emily, Carl and Elaine. Thank you Mommy Dearest, Attila, Marla, Mama Edge, Corrie, and Azaera. Thank you Mike and Dawn, Terri, MMC and Terena. Thank you Queenbuv3, and thank you everyone that I missed.

You make being a glass half full person much much easier!


Azaera said...

I think I can speak for all of us when I say we love you too! And hey it's up to us to be the ones with the smile on our faces when everyone else says "oh s/he's blind/disabled? How sad!" They just don't get it. They haven't seen what our kids can do, or how happy and mischievous and kid-like they can be.

Corrie Howe said...

Thanks. I'm glad you count me in with the glass is half full. I read a lot of blogs where it breaks my heart that parents of children with disabilities are really struggling in a world of darkness without hope.

You inspire me with your love and advocacy for your children. Honest. I've been thinking of you lately and some of your posts as I try to decide if I want to become a part of a group of blog writers who write about products. I was wondering if I could write about them from a point of view of families with disabilities.

MMC said...

I check your blog every day. Know why? Because something in you and your writing pulls me forward. I know we don't agree 100% on every issue in the disability community and that's okay, we don't have to. But I appreciate and admire your positive lookout and what you do. Keep on blogging!

Queenbuv3 said...

YOU inspire ME! I'm so touched that you put me the "glass is half full" group and that I have helped lift your spirit : )

Life is no bowl of cherries but I really believe that you can choose happiness. I think that my husband and I realized almost immmediately that it would do us and our children no good to view our challenges as negative things.

As the saying goes, "you don't see the strength of a tree until there is snow on its branches". Our children were given to us because God trusted us to take care of them, love them and help them reach their potential. You are a strong woman and mother and your children are truly blessed to have you as their teacher, provider and protector.

I'm sure you will agree that not only are our children blessed to have us but we are blessed to have them. My children have made me a better person. I agree with Azaera that our kids are often judged at face value and other people have no idea how amazing they really are.

Thank YOU so much for sharing you life with us. Please don't ever stop blogging!!

Terena said...

I'm touched that you include me in your list and I want to Thank You from the bottom of my heart for being one of my circle of support.

Keep writing. :-)

Terri said...

Whoa, I didn't see that coming! Thank you so much for 'including me in' as my oldest daughter used to say. I have to say my community of fellow parents in disability have enriched my world. I love the spunk, grit, creativity, hilarity and devotion I find in them--in you. Optimism isn't always a default setting, but there's just no percentage in anything else...

Thanks for the words and the community--they're gifts!

mommy~dearest said...

Awww! Thank you, and know that I find you just as inspiring. <3

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!