The final piece of my immediate circle is my husband. I met him seven years ago and were married about a year and half later. He is actually one of the most challenging people to write about, that I want to introduce. It is our strong union that makes my story, our story, so incredible and interesting.
My husband is six months my junior, and has been fighting his own war against disability, a lot longer than I have. At the age of five my husband went on his first and last, sledding adventure. He and his cousins were in a yard have a grand old time, not knowing that day would change his life forever. He ended up sliding head first into a tree. He was rushed to an ER by his fast acting father. He was later told, that if not for his father’s actions he would not have survived.
Against the odds he defied doctors, and lay men alike. My husband walks and talks when neither were once thought to be possible. He did suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury. As a result my husband has a noticeable change in his speech pattern, aka his Barry White voice, severe anxity and deprission, memory issues, ADHD, and is mobilty impared in three out of four limbs (tri-palegic). He continued to live his life with that power. The power to drive an unmodified vehicle, graduate college with bachelor’s in economics, and become a productive and respected state employee.
It was his power and self confidence that first caught my eye, (his light pink dress shirt). We were at a state wide conference on disabilities, (we were both there for our jobs, his had much more clout tn mine) , and ended up speaking briefly. Then we got to know each other through a long chain of emails. My husband was and is unlike any man I had ever dated, and I have dated my share of men. If we are going to be honest probably a few people’s shares, but that is not the point.
Neither one of us had ever dated someone who also had a disability. It is hard to explain the rationale but it is like a class system. If you are a wheelchair user like me and you are dating an able bodied man, it is like your dating in class above you. Even if unfortunately said able bodied man is not as good looking or as smart as you. My husband is both thank god and empathetic in ways most of the world can never be.
He hit the ground running, figuratively of course because neither one of us can run. Within three months he was a full fledged part of my small intimate family, reading out loud hours every night with my son and I, weekly grocery shopping, and anything else I insisted to drag him to. Never once has he denied my son anything he needs and even given many of things he just wanted. But the greatess thing he has given my son is loving us unconditionally and allowing his mother much needed love and healing.
I, in return, educated him on being “disabled”. Which, believe it or not he really was unaware. I still find it incredible that he a man witb disabilty for more than thirty years, knew almost nothing about modification and accomodations worked. Unaware what was out there for him, he went through life trying to keep up, in a world stacked against him. He obviously had successed thus far, but his body and mind were understanably tierd.
Now we have a biological son together. Yes, I know it is mind blowing that two disabled people, can you know, have a child, but it’s true. Even more shocking we are really good parents. Disabled or not. My sons are loved, cared for, and spoiled with attention more then most are. Our life is as stable as I could have hoped for. And for the boys, safety, and much more I am forever greatful.
This is not to say, our lives are simple or easy. Quite honestly it is neither. It is extremely difficullt to manage our day to day lives. Two parents with disabilities, two sons, six aides and a partridge in a pear tree. I joke but it really is a lot. I basically juggle and mange ten people schedules at any given time. I am also the go to person in my home, expected to get and remember everything.