Giving Up

I had a sobering conversation with a friend recently.  He told me about a friend of his who has a child with a disability.  They had talked a little bit about my fight for inclusion for Chloe and the troubles that we face in that journey.

Not surprisingly, that journey was not unfamiliar to my friend’s friend.  She knew that journey well from walking it with her now-grown child many years ago.  But it was her words that made my heart hurt deeply.

“I gave up,” she admitted.

She had tried to fight the fight.  She had tried to rally the troops.  She had tried to educate and inform.  She had tried to advocate.  But she finally just gave up out of pure exhaustion.  She was spent, and she was done.  And she gave up nearly 2 decades ago.

“I finally realized that I was the only one who cared,” were some more of her painfully honest words.

<sigh>

She didn’t have the comraderie that I have today.  She didn’t have the ease of research and availability of support and information.  She was a pioneer.  And I think she was a brave one.  She tried.  And I salute her, and I thank her, and I mourn with her.  For her and for her child.

Do stories like hers make us falter and decide it’s just not worth the fight the tears and the stress?

Or do stories like hers strengthen us, adding to our resolve and our stamina?

While her story made me so sad and her words have invaded my thoughts often since that conversation, I think mostly I have added my friend’s friend and her grown child to my list of reasons to keep up the fight.  To keep on educating and informing and fighting for the rights of people with disabilities – namely my 9-year-old daughter.  For, ultimately, it is, of course, all about Chloe and all for Chloe.  But the truth of the matter is that every victory won for Chloe, every right that benefits Chloe, affects a whole group of individuals who are fighting for their rights.  And I am proud to be advocating for them . . . for her . . . for him. . . .

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Thank you for not giving up. Your persistence is admirable, and Chloe is worth every bit.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Audrey on September 16, 2011 at 7:11 AM

    You are so right. You are doing this battle for Chloe, she is such a lucky little girl. And ultimately, every person you reach will learn more about acceptance, tolerance and inclusion in all aspects of the community, not just school. I wish you the ability to find all the strength you will need as you keep fighting.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Jennie on September 21, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    I was a child with disabilities and my mom was my biggest advocate. If it hadn’t been for her I would not have two college degrees. Never give up the fight it is worth every ounce love and caring that you give up. You may not feel it now but it is worth it.

    Reply

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