by Cheryl Nicholas
They are defined by mental health associations as persons with "subadequate intelligence with defective reasoning ability and physical deformities." The law states that they are entitled to an education, so they are clustered together in a regimented way of living, segregated from mainstream society in order to be "taught." Many reach their maximum level of functioning when they learn to tie a shoe or push a button on a wheelchair. Many never reach even that level, spending their days and nights slumped in a chair or lying on a bed.
by Barbara Mikan
It's no wonder I grew fond of Debbie Cassim. I certainly wasn't starving or malnourished. I was a rather rotund child, and I hungered for the sweetness I didn't experience in my home. A nickel was docked from my allowance if I slouched or put my elbows on the dinner table. Those infractions were posted on the kitchen door and referred to daily, sometimes in front of guests. The spirit in which Debbie gave had no strings attached and was never earned.
by Joyce Wakefield
Last spring, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and all the gifts of the season were shelved. All my energy and faith and hope and determination were funneled into surviving. The onset of chemo brought a terrible inability to read, write, even to walk my dog the mile or two he and I had both come to love. Winter set in my spirit and my body and I became aware of the process of dormancy and hibernation awaiting the renewal of spring, indeed, of life itself. I felt my strength center and become concentrated toward healing -- toward spring when my awakening could begin.
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