Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Find the Funny

-- By Stephanie Hickey --

They say laughter is the best medicine. And I think this is true--especially in the case of our own disabilities. Living through a difficult situation taught me this. One of the facets of my disability is that I often lose my balance and frequently have a little wobble-wobble in my walk.

My grandfather developed Alzheimer’s and it devastated my family. He’d become disabled and no one in my family knew how to deal with the pain of that. A strange and funny facet of Grandpa’s disability is that he forgot that I had Cerebral Palsy. So when he’d see me trip or walk my wobble-wobble walk, he’d nudge my mother and mime drinking from a glass (to imply that I was drunk) and even went so far as to tell me that I needed to “lay off that hooch.” It bruised my heart to know that he’d forgotten my disability. I spent my childhood days at my grandparents, and my grandfather would sometimes be there during my therapy. He’d be sitting on the front porch watching my therapist and me jog around the block. How could he forget that? The reality of my grandfather losing his memories meant that we would lose him.

And you might think his self-explanation for my condition hurt even more, but the first time he’d made a crack. I found it funny--so I laughed. I laughed so hard! And it felt so good; it was a weird release for me (and my mother). Every time my grandfather would make a funny crack regarding my “alcoholism” (I soon began making jokes about my drinking problem) it made me laugh because I heard the affection in his voice. I could hear that he still cared for me and that eased my fear that I was losing him. Yes, he no longer knew I had CP, but he knew that I was I still someone he really cared for. Those moments also became some of the memories of my grandpa that I most cherish

It’s not the same as when someone points at you for walking funny or someone mimics the way you talk. But you finding the humor in your own disability can be strangely empowering. You are defining yourself, and in that definition a little self-effacing is always a good quality. And when I’m having a bad day--feeling low because I’ve hit some barrier in regards to my disability, I turn back to the memories of my grandpa and instantly feel better. Finding the funny in your disability is not easy because--for many of us--has been a point of mocking and/or cruelty from others, but it is possible. Even if it’s as simple as saying a word wrong, don’t be afraid to laugh about it. Embrace those embarrassing, silly moments because they can become great memories that give you strength to get through the bad days that we all have.

Photo Credit Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcolman/2344915398/

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Call Frankfort TODAY: Tell the Senate to Keep funding for Department For Aging and Independent Living!

Although you get many requests from us to make phone calls and you may wonder if they are effective and we can show you that they are. This session, through your efforts, phone calls, emails and letters to local newspapers we had $10 million dollars added in the House budget for the Department for Aging and Independent Living (DAIL), which includes PCAP, to help out elderly and people with disabilities.

Now is the time to really step up the effort as the Senate has the budget and will be making their changes. If you want to keep these essential services like PCAP and meals, you need to contact your Senator today and everyday and let them know that we want those funds kept in the budget.

We made a difference in the House and we can do so in the Senate by your encouraging your family and friends to make these calls to their Senator. Let's keep folks in the community by making these calls. Do your part today!

Also, if you have not already done so we need you to thank Rep. Jimmie Lee and Speaker Greg Stumbo for putting the money in the House budget. Let them know that you are thankful for their help!

Call your Senator at 1-800-372-7181 and tell them to keep the DAIL money in the budget.

Call Rep. Lee and Speaker Stumbo and thank them for putting the money in the DAIL budget. 1-800-372-7181.

What You Can Do: Call Frankfort EVERY DAY Until the Senate votes on the budget - toll-free 1-800 -372-7181

Leave a message for: Your State Senator and Senator David Williams.

"Keep the $10 million dollars added in the House budget for the Department for Aging and Independent Living (DAIL)!"

After you enter your name and DOB, you'll be redirected to a page with your voter information. You need your State Representative in Frankfort and your State Senator in Frankfort (not Federal).

Scroll all the way to the bottom and look for:
Legislative Districts / Information

Senate District: