Recently, I posted the below link on Facebook. Once you click on it, you have to scroll down a little further to watch the clip. When I watched the clip – and I have watched it several times – it went straight to my soul.
I thought of my parents, and their heartache. I was diagnosed at 18 months and my mother often talks about how I always cried when I tried to walk. It must be have been so hard for them to witness and to trace back and forth between doctors to find an answer to their very unhappy child. My mother, no doubt, would have known in her mother’s heart that something was not quite right with her only daughter.
Before you read on, please take the time to watch the clip, below.
Scroll ahead another 36 years in my life and there is so much I need to thank my parents for because it was their pain when I was a child that gave me the courage to strive for more. To be more. To aim for more. And to be more of a person. I always knew I was different. I always knew that I wasn’t physically capable like other children. And I always knew there were certain things I just couldn’t do, couldn’t risk my body. But in that, and through all that, my parents taught me that there was strength in this. There was real value in knowing that whilst I wasn’t the norm, I could be something else, something even more special.
And this is what they gave me the courage to believe – the courage through their own pain and their own heartache to rise above the Art card:
Don’t bite your tongue and spend a life time stuck in silence.
You’ve got the words. The words to change the way.
If no one hears your voice, how will they know your heart?
And how will they know the heart of others?
You have the light to fight the shadows.
In fact, in my early 20s my father once asked me: ‘Are you a man or a mouse? Are you going to let this ruin your life?’ Fuck – at the time, he really pissed me off. I still remember the location, the eye contact, the weather – when these words were uttered. But I didn’t respond. I knew not to respond. I knew what I had to do. I had to grit my teeth and just get on with it. Get on with life. Be better. Be more. Because to live with Art is a life sentence with no chance of clemency. And some days, some moments, some weeks really fucking suck. But, I have the light, and for that, I will be forever grateful to my parents.