Not Just an Ordinary Christmas

December 26, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Posted in Around the House, Megan's Blogs, Our Love Story, Ramblings | 3 Comments
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A snowy Christmas.

A snowy Christmas.

This Christmas, we had plans to travel to Atlanta, to see my family. It was the first time to see my dad’s side of the family for a long time, and I was so excited about traveling down. But sometimes the best plans fall by the side of the road. With snow threatening North Carolina, Barton & I decided to stay home.

Though, we did decide to kennel the dogs anyway- they needed to play with other dogs, and I- a much needed break from the pack of three- the ol’referee (Bear), the wild child (Basho) & the little one (Beowulf).

I had been pretty exhausted from the past couple of weeks & with a few powerhouse weeks coming up full of potential and possibilities as the new year begins, what I really needed was a break.

On the way home, we picked up a pile of firewood, and along with every other neighbor in town, hit the grocery store. Even the staff at the store was unprepared for the Christmas Eve mob.

Instead of driving seven hours to Atlanta, we plopped ourselves in front of the fireplace and I melted into a soft noodle. Is it pathetic to say that by 7:30pm Christmas Eve, Barton was pulling me off the sofa to go to bed? Christmas Day we had fun with friends at a Christmas Day party, and returned home full of laughter, smiles and way too much sugar.

Our Winter Holiday.

Our Winter Holiday.

The snow indeed came to The Triangle. My half-hearted efforts to shovel off the porch was even more delayed by Barton calling me to add another log to the fire. Today has been a movie day, and as Barton put it- a romantic get-a-way without getting away. Complete with fire, love by my side and looking out the windows at the snow-lined branches, it feels like Christmas.

Christmas was my mother’s favorite holiday, complete with many gifts to unwrap. Instead, I wrap my arms around Barton and am thankful for what we have in our lives. We experience challenges everyday, but we return to the love and life we have found with each other. It’s more than I can ask for.

I have been pulled off the sofa every so often- taking the camera for some pictures of the white fluff, and the short trips outdoors- to push the Camilla bush off the ramp, a few snapshots and a breath of snow-filled air, and while Barton laughs at my need to organize and clean, I will return to my spot on the sofa in front of the fire.

Tomorrow we will wade through the snow soaked roads for a list of errands and to pick up the pack, and hopefully by then the roadways will be clearer, and we’ll be ready for the challenge.

Merry Christmas everyone- we hope your Christmas or winter celebration was filled with family, friends and love!

Not Disabled, Just Human

December 15, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Posted in Barton's Blogs, Ramblings, The Nitty-Gritty | 4 Comments
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Recently we’ve noticed a new theme developing among several of our newest connections. This theme seems to revolve around how or even if people can fully recognize wholeness in the face of a disability. For those of you who know me, you know that I strive constantly to recognize that innate wholeness in myself, as well as everyone else. And while I don’t always do this perfectly, it is foundational to how I approach life and to any of the accomplishments I have been fortunate enough to encounter so far.

Because of this, I’ve been caught off guard when several of our newest connections have clearly struggled to recognize themselves as whole. The result of this has been several surprisingly awkward interactions in which, whether they are not are aware of it, they become outwardly uncomfortable as I challenge them with a more expansive perspective of who we are as human beings, regardless of individual ability levels.

While none of us are perfect, there is within us a core that is a whole in and of itself. It is this core that gives us the richness of our humanity! Through focusing on this essence, rather than our shortcomings, we can discover both the strength and the courage to understand how we can best utilize our gifts, while at the same time, face our own difficulties with compassion. In expressing life through this paradigm, it becomes easier to let go of an identity that is intrinsically disabled by its limited perspective and step into who you are as a human being and become simply a person. 

Conversations with Perspectives of Disability

December 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Posted in Megan's Blogs, Ramblings, The Nitty-Gritty | Leave a comment
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When I first had a chance to work with Barton, I was at a Camp in Arizona. We were both working in the kitchen washing dishes and cleaning. In my sweet Southern Alabama slow voice, I asked Barton if he needed any help. One of our close friends took me aside and asked me point blank if I had a problem with Barton. At first I didn’t get it, and responded no. Yet my vocal inflections were telling a different story. It was clear that I was uncomfortable and wasn’t sure how to relate to him. She spent a few minutes explaining that Barton had been through all of the same training. She pointed out how I was patronizing Barton in the way I was speaking.

Recently, I have had a few discussions with someone who is working different issues around the disability of their partner. The easy route is to peg everything on disability. Yet by doing this, we don’t see the fullness of the person inside.

What are the issues between Barton and I as a husband and wife- what are the issues between Barton and I- someone with a disability and someone without? As much as we can, Barton and I work toward a perspective that we are two whole people coming together in our marriage. Of course things are going to come up that incorporate his disability. And- things will come up in my own abilities as well. But that’s not the core of who we are or how we relate to one another.

Recognizing that we all have strengths and faults, no matter what our ability or inability is important, not only in our relationships with others, but how we identify ourselves. In many ways we become the labels we name ourselves to be.

What are the labels you write on your skin, and are there any you need to erase?

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