Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.

-Me

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Messages From Bob

Bob left me a message on my cell phone the other day:

“Sarah, I’ve been thinking about this advocacy thing you’ve been doing and I think maybe it is a good thing. Maybe you are strong for a reason. (He means I’m a loud-mouth). People who are weak need someone who is strong to speak for them. “

This simple admission from Bob was a wonderful affirmation for me. My priorities are changing lately. I’m beginning to see, more and more, why it is important for me to not only advocate for my children, but to be involved in my community and the politics that surround disabilities. If I don’t take a step forward and try and facilitate change, what will my children be grandfathered into? What will your children be grandfathered into? What will you and I be grandfathered into as we age and enter into the fundamentally disabling process of getting older?

I’ve realized, in no uncertain terms, that I have a voice concerning disability rights. I believe that it is my personal responsibility to ensure my voice is heard.

I have feared for so long that my history with drug treatment combined with my children placed in foster care for the duration of that treatment, excluded my voice. I was afraid of my past, and the repercussions my past could have should I choose to be active in my community. Last night, as I completed my LifeLine homework for next months’ Partners in Policymaking weekend, I chose to not be afraid. I chose to embrace myself, including my past. I chose to cast out shame.

Life, sometimes, makes it easy to live in fear. Fear makes it easy to refute responsibility. I refuse to provide a resting-place for fear. I have the capacity to help, and shedding my fear allows me to do so.

2 comments:

insearchofbalance said...

Good for you. You're amazing, and any community you represent will be the better for it.

Minnesota Nice said...

Oh I like that image of refusing to provide a "resting place" for fear.
I sometimes see fear as a big dark blob that comes and stands on the street outside my home. I tell it "sure, stand out there if you want, but I'm not gonna invite you in for tea and cookies".
You Go Girl!!