Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Turning the Tide

This is a post that has been weighing heavy on my mind for a couple of weeks. I generally try to keep things lighthearted because really, there's enough sadness in the world, who needs to read about more?? Sometimes, it's just good to cleanse, and well, apparently my blog is a place where I can purge.

To start with Mayhem has returned to the Shoup house. His return is due to the combination of him being an idiot and me putting him in a position where he could be an idiot. I was so hopelessly idealistic in thinking that he could get what he needed with this family who was so obviously ill-equipped to deal with his issues. He's a difficult dog to place for sure (strong, hard headed, hates little dogs) but he's such a sweet goofy boy with us that it's so very hard when a placement for him doesn't work out. While it's true we are far tolerant than most people I know (and talk to), I can't believe he is so completely damaged that he's unadoptable. But at the same time, it has damaged me in ways I can't explain. All he needs is someone who can understand HIS inabilities (I sure as heck am not going to call them disabilities) and embrace them and love him in spite of himself. Surely there's someone other than our family who can provide that for him. And really, don't we all need someone who is willing to look past our inabilities and embrace who we are? Aren't we all just damaged goods in some way, just trying to make a role and a life for ourselves with minimal impact upon others?

An awesome coworker of mine went through a pretty crazy ordeal when her daughter had a choking accident (you can read about her at http://colofisch.blogspot.com). I'll be honest and say that before the accident, I was fairly impervious to disabilities and the frailties of human life. Her daughter and KIC are not far apart in age, so the accident had a profound affect on me. That could have been MY kid. Even though it wasn't, I couldn't rejoice that it wasn't my kid. I could only pray and hope for healing for my friend and her family. In the meantime, I really started to take notice of people with disabilities and try to be more empathetic as opposed to dismissive. I've also started to pay attention to how other people view disabilities. On one of my favorite TV shows, in particular, there was a discussion where two people carried a recessive gene that increased the likelihood of blindness in their unborn child. To add my own dramatic flair, they gnashed their teeth and blamed themselves for carrying a gene that could inflict such an injustice on a helpless, blameless infant. I quickly lost patience for that story line, as I have learned, there are far worse things than a child who is born blind, or deaf, or with an extra chromosome. Why don't we celebrate life instead of focusing on the imperfections? Why don't we speak with people with disabilities instead of shunning them because they are different?

My friend has used her experience to mentor others and to start a project in Colorado that encourages healing, and finding hope in places that you'd least expect. She's blown the "minimal impact" attitude out of the water and brought about peace and change in so many people, with an eye to impact several hundred more people. So from this day forth, I will do the same. Well, maybe not with a ginormous project cuz really, who has that kind of time (and yes, I know, I'm making excuses). From this day forward, I'm going to embrace differences and trials and tribulations and spit them out into something that has a positive impact on the world! I'm going to kick depression and self doubt in their collective patoots and flip the bird to adversity! And tomorrow, when I wake up, I'll do it all over again! I'll stop here before you start hearing Howard Dean's voice in your head.

Thank you for reading this post. I promise more light and airy to come. While you're waiting for me to come back with a song, you can check out my new blog and let me know if you're interested in being a guest blogger:


1 comment:

ferfischer said...

Oh! My dear friend! You're too kind! But, I'm happy that our experience has brought you a different perspective, that is applicable all over the place. It really is. Oh, and I would have thrown that storyline out the window too - gah!!!! Oh, and btw, I would happily be a guest blogger, I could come up with "3 things" in my sleep!!! Just let me know when, and I'll do it!