Thursday, July 4, 2013


I'm proud to be an American.  I'm blessed to live in a country where I'm free to express myself in a blog like this. I am thankful for the support system that I have in family and caregivers.  They help me lead an independent life

I had a student in my computer class once who was afraid of me. I believe  she was Vietnamese.  Seeing me upset her so much that she was in tears.   My boss spoke with the woman and told her that she had no reason to be afraid of me. Sadly, I think the woman dropped my class anyway.  I remember feeling strange because no had actually said they were afraid of me before.

I mentioned the incident to my brother who'd been a doctor in Vietnam.  He explained to me that in Vietnam disabled people were kept inside.  They never went out.  People never saw them.  I was probably the first person, with a disability, my student had ever seen.

Independence and freedom are not things I take for granted. Had my parents felt differently they could have placed me in an institution.  They didn't.  I had and have a good life.  I was able to get an education and hold a part time job. I have traveled and had the opportunity to meet some great people. I can't imagine being shut off from the outside world.  Not having the opportunity to experience life.

This day is about much more than barbecues and fireworks.  It's about remembering not to take the freedom we have for granted.