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My Mom Is Limited By A Disability, But She Still Shows Up In All The Ways That Matter

Sunday 10 May 2020


From US newspaper The Washington Post:


Brittany Collins with her mom
The author with her mom.
(The author with her mom. Courtesy of Brittany Collins)

My mom is limited by a disability, but she still shows up in all the ways that matter

By Brittany Collins
May 8, 2020
© 2020 The Washington Post.

“In examining disease, we gain wisdom about anatomy and physiology and biology. In examining the person with disease, we gain wisdom about life.” — Oliver Sacks

“I’ve had this dream,” my mom tells me as we sit in side-by-side lawn chairs beneath an autumn sun, “that one day I would put on an elegant black dress and go out to dinner with my husband. Not out of delusion; I just believed that things would get better. I had to believe that things would get better.”

“I still picture that,” she continues, her voice lower. “Every detail: the table, the napkins. The waiter carries us bread and butter, and we’re laughing.”

I always knew that my family was different. In elementary school, when teachers asked me and my peers to share our parents’ professions; at high school functions, when everyone asked why my parents hadn’t shown up; as I processed through an auditorium in cap and gown at my college graduation without a proud parent in the audience.

“I have a stay-at-home mom,” I learned to share as a child.

I have a stay-at-home mom. But she does not stay home by choice.

My mom was 24 when she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, more recently termed myalgic encephalomyelitis — a frequently misunderstood disease affecting the neurological, immune, endocrine and metabolic systems. Just months into her first year of teaching at a local elementary school, a seemingly viral sickness pummeled her body and persisted. It was as if she caught a flu that never went away.


Full article…



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