Reimagining the Future: Stretching Small Thoughts

Posted: October 17, 2014 in Disability Issues
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Meet Heather!! 🙂

Meet Heather!

Heather is a friend of mine whom I first became acquainted with during a Family Studies class at Middle Tennessee State University in 1995.

She’s also the person who woke up my world of thinking without her even knowing it!!

Notes from Heather

I’ll be 41 in November.  When I was born it was about a month after I was due to be born.  I was strangled by the umbilical cord.  I was born at Memorial Hospital but transferred by ambulance to Vanderbilt Medical Center.  My parents were told the best thing they could do was to go home and forget they had a baby.  They were told even if I survived  I’d be a total vegetable with severe disabilities.

Thankfully, they didn’t listen.

I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when I was two. I attended St. Bernard School for Exceptional Children when I was four and from there I went to St. Bernard Non Graded Academy.  This kept me out of the public school system until I started high school.  I went to Hillsboro High School which at the time had the best college prep program for disabled students in the Nashville area.  From there, I went to Middle Tennessee University and received my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work in May of 1998.
I met Bryan at MTSU and we were married in November of 1998.  We had our son, Dalton, in July of 1999 and our daughter, Bobbye Sue, was born in September 2002.  I am a stay at home wife and mother. 
Seeds of Hope

Family Relations was the first college course I had with an adult with Cerebral Palsy.  At twenty, I really didn’t know anything about disabilities or Cerebral Palsy, but I did notice that Heather’s diagnosis effected her mobility and speech. However, having a speech disability did not hamper Heather’s ability to communicate. She has a gift for conversation!!  Every student around her not only benefited from her insight but could feel the heart-felt passion from which she shared. Consequently, it was her personality and intellect that shined and not the limitations of her disability! I will never forget hearing Heather remark to the professor, “I want to get married and have children one day…” What? Could a woman with Cerebral Palsy be a mom?  Her dreams were stretching my small thoughts!

Almost twenty years ago God used Heather to plant beautiful seeds of hope inside of me. Only the Lord knew that I would need this down the life road..

Hope Again

I didn’t officially meet Heather until eight years later while visiting my parent’s church. Recognizing her voice, I introduced myself and shared with her that I remembered her from a class at the university.

Heather then proceeded to water the seeds she had planted in me years ago…

“I’d like you to meet my husband and two children…”

 

Heather and her husband, Bryan in 1998.

Heather and her two children, Dalton and Bobbye Sue.

Heather is amazing, not because she has a disability and a family, but because she didn’t give up on her dreams. Even when others may have doubted, she continued to believe. Her desire and ability to live her dream of having a family, despite limitations and challenges, has ruined my small thinking. Whenever I feel like I’m giving up on a dream, her deeply touching words from two decades re-ignite the fire I need to hope once again.

Thank you Heather for allowing me to feature you on my blog and share how you’ve touched my life! 

Check out Heather’s blog:  http://crippledmama.blogspot.com/.

***

Note: It’s a small world! Heather’s husband ended up being a childhood friend that I had not seen in years! 🙂

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