Monthly Archives: November 2020

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In honor of Veteran’s Day

I postponed writing this because I had a really busy week. I knew that I wanted to write about this story, but  I didn’t realize that it connected with Veteran’s Day until I reopened it.  So, I’m late, but I hope you enjoy this story.

I don’t read a lot of fiction, but what I sometimes pick up is short stories. That’s how I ended up with “Uncommon Type: Some Stories” by Tom Hanks (Knopf, 2017).  The story “Christmas Eve 1953” got stuck in my head. This is the story of Virgil Beuell, who came back from World War II service with an artificial leg and missing some fingers on one of his hands. Virgil reminds me to also be really grateful for heat and hot water. “After buying the house, he self-installed a furnace that was far oversized for the modest home. He put in, too, a beast of a hot-water heater…” It’s a lovely story, honoring Virgil’s success as a “working man,” his passion for his wife, and his love for his kids.  Finally his annual connection with his buddy from the service. We learn about his war service, how he met his beloved wife,  and how he got injured.
So I recommend this story, in honor of our wounded veterans, who come back as members of the disabled community.

 

What drives my research

One the central issues of my writing, and of my research in the area of disabilities studies, is a journey of self acceptance.  I have cerebral palsy. I am a hemiplegic, which means that my right side is challenged. I am what is called “high functioning.” I am able to walk. It is different and I require support, but I get the job done.
I continue to get into trouble because my athletic soul calls me to do things that are mismatched with these facts.  This last Spring I developed tendonitis because I over exercised.  That’s why I say that my emotional and physical journey is about realigning my insides to match my outsides.
The discovery of disability studies allowed me to take a big step forward in self acceptance.  I kept seeing my life reflected in what I was reading.
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