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Handicapped Perceptions

September 8, 2010

Life continues to provide me ample opportunity to change my mind. Again and again my perceptions are fined tuned, if not completely eradicated with something entirely different taking their place. I read today a post on the WomenHeart site where a woman wrote that people with heart disease were like serial killers, we look just like everyone else. I admit to making so many judgments, having so many false impressions and to assuming that I knew far more than I actually had even an inking of.

I am fifty three years old. I look healthy. I laugh and smile and sing and slow dance with my beloved in the kitchen. I attend my grandson’s ball games and cheer and clap loudly. I shop at the local grocery store and push my own cart. I play fetch with my dog in the yard and water my own plants. I swim in the lake down the street and sit in the shade and relax. I attend funerals and weddings and vote on election days. I shop sales and wrap birthday gifts and love Halloween. I love to cook and clean my own home. I color my hair and want to look nice. I wear make-up almost every day and fret over the weight I have gained.

From what others can see, I look perfectly fine. I look the picture of health and wholeness. I appear strong and capable.

You might wonder why I don’t work  or take my dog for a walk. You might think I’m lazy. I probably would have. You might shake your head when I park in that handicapped space and then walk smiling into the store. I would have thought you had borrowed a relative’s car. I look like every one else. You might make an assumption or even a judgment. You might perceive me wrongly.

Maybe you have a relative who had bypass surgery and bounced right back; went right back to work and is still going strong a dozen years later. A scar down one’s chest does not tell it all. I certainly thought it was a one size fits all.

I keep changing my mind because my perceptions were not accurate. We do love to know and to think we know. We are so often wrong. I am very likely wrong about all this.

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