A reporter’s journey through not only my life but also the life of her dog, Bertha

I am so thankful to the brave men who make their living at a crossroads to keep road safety moving. The officer takes his plea to me. “Please put it back” he says, his…

A reporter’s journey through not only my life but also the life of her dog, Bertha

I am so thankful to the brave men who make their living at a crossroads to keep road safety moving. The officer takes his plea to me. “Please put it back” he says, his voice calm and thoughtful. “It’s out of your control if the girls see it.”

I put a small wingie tape on the end and my husband pulls it from the shop.

I tell him that it is needed. I want it to be sharp enough to create a “skid” of my own for someone who refuses to leave it as it is.

The younger sister wags her finger. “Why would I need something like that?” she asks. Her words shake me. But my anger hurts me more. My husband tries again. “I am sorry that it takes too much of your time to explain to someone what you have,” he says. But that short answer is not enough.

Perhaps this officer’s reminder to me speaks to my deeper issue with how disabled people are perceived. And with the way disabled people try to keep their “big complicated life” out of people’s sight.

In desperation I try to file a police report against the twin twins — I have no evidence of their hate crime and the police investigate with a tolerant eye.

Just like the police investigation, life moves on.

Then, a life event raises my awareness anew. My mother, sitting on her deck, strokes my toes gently. She tells me I must understand that there is nothing wrong with me that anyone else would not readily see.

Just like the police investigation, life moves on.

I tell her this story of the mother out of the family. I guess I am learning my lesson: Those of us who identify as disabled can be just as plain as anyone else, and we can be part of the community just as easily as anyone else. And the tenderness and concern I have received from the women on the court room bench mean that at least they too can see me.

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