Blog Comments

  1. Donna Thomson's Avatar
    Thank you so much! I love the blog as a form for writing my thoughts - it's much easier than writing a book, that's for sure!!! But I also love the bulletin board like Braintalk for sharing :)

    Quote Originally Posted by agate
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    A really eloquent statement--Thanks for sharing it!
  2. Donna Thomson's Avatar
    Thank you so much for your kind words! Yes, it was the car accident (we believe) that caused Nick's CP. But hey, what's the difference, right? It is what it is and we all have to just live with what opportunities and challenges we have. I just LOVE how you find camraderie in walking with seniors because of the slower pace. That is just awesome - I think that's what the non-english native english students found with seniors too - they could all slow down and practice and chat and be real. There's something really, really good in that.
    Thanks for sharing and I LOVE your film work!!!!! x Donna

    Quote Originally Posted by funnylegs4
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    Great post! I was born at 31 weeks with a much more mild form of Cerebral Palsy than Nick so reading your experience with a different type of CP is fascinating and I learned a lot. Thank you! To me living with CP is normal like you said. I think having CP feels normal because people like me and Nick are born with it rather than becoming disabled later in life. We don't know any other way to be. The interesting thing is I like being around the elderly because they understand my need to walk slow and use walking aids much better than younger able bodied people. Everybody becomes somewhat disabled later in life and anyone can become disabled at any time. It is not your father's fault that he died of course, but I understand that feeling of being abandoned. One thing that caught my attention in this post was how you mentioned that your car was crashed into(thank god you and Nick were ok!). I have to wonder if the crash caused or contributed to whatever caused Nick's brain damage. Not trying to hurt your feelings or anything and its still unknown what causes CP. Whatever the reason for the CP it is NOT your fault. Please continue to write more blog posts like this one. :) Happy Birthday!
  3. agate's Avatar
    A really eloquent statement--Thanks for sharing it!
  4. funnylegs4's Avatar
    Great post! I was born at 31 weeks with a much more mild form of Cerebral Palsy than Nick so reading your experience with a different type of CP is fascinating and I learned a lot. Thank you! To me living with CP is normal like you said. I think having CP feels normal because people like me and Nick are born with it rather than becoming disabled later in life. We don't know any other way to be. The interesting thing is I like being around the elderly because they understand my need to walk slow and use walking aids much better than younger able bodied people. Everybody becomes somewhat disabled later in life and anyone can become disabled at any time. It is not your father's fault that he died of course, but I understand that feeling of being abandoned. One thing that caught my attention in this post was how you mentioned that your car was crashed into(thank god you and Nick were ok!). I have to wonder if the crash caused or contributed to whatever caused Nick's brain damage. Not trying to hurt your feelings or anything and its still unknown what causes CP. Whatever the reason for the CP it is NOT your fault. Please continue to write more blog posts like this one. :) Happy Birthday!
    Updated 07-08-2014 at 04:42 PM by funnylegs4
  5. Donna Thomson's Avatar
    Hi Rose, Yes, I remember your comments on my original post - it's funny and sad to think how the internet has changed the way we support each other online. Some things are better and some aren't. I miss the longer notes (everything on other social media platforms is just short sentences). And I miss the more intimate feel. That said, there is a lot I like about changes in making research possible and finding others who share our parenting experience. I'm glad to still be here - with you! xo
  6. Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
    Donna ~ When you posted this on your blog a year ago, I visited Kate's blog and began reading about her life, pregnancies, and of course, Gavin, and his little brother, Brian.

    Gavin's organs were harvested for donation, and Kate raised awareness about organ donation. In Gavin's memory, she started a foundation, and people worldwide began donating to spruce up the waiting room at the hospital, and more. (It's so much, it escapes me now, but it's all there on Chasing Rainbows.)

    The day Gavin passed, Kate realized she was pregnant. So her first year of grieving for him was also filled with the anticipation of the birth of her daughter, Hope. She blogged through all of it, bringing the readers into her home, the hospital, the places they visited, and the progress with Gavin's legacy of charitable activities.

    Kate's blog drew thousands of followers, and she connected with so many parents, not just parents of special needs children. Her writing style is easy, readable, relate-able, and enjoyable.

    Like you, I lived through the dark ages, pre-internet, and longed for more contact with parents of special needs children. I was fortunate to live in a well-populated area, so I did know parents of children at my sons' schools, and we did develop a parent network to fight the school district on numerous issues.

    But, the internet has opened up a new world of communication, which means we can meet other parents, with children of all ages, with a range of diagnoses among them, and we can share information, experience, and our emotional roller coaster lives to help each other and ourselves.

    We have BrainTalk to thank for our friendships. Although most of our CN members have drifted off to other venues, BT/CN will always be the Mother Ship. Thank you, Donna, for staying on deck with us.
  7. Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
    Donna ~ I agree that the trend of devaluation of our most vulnerable citizens is on the rise. After the tragic death of a homeless man in our area, residents gathered in protest and declared justice and fair treatment for our homeless population. Local politicians began planning a homeless shelter, and the citizens did not want it anywhere close to their homes, stores, businesses, parks, so their protests shifted in the opposite direction.

    Taking this beyond the homeless crisis in our first world countries, devaluation applies to our disabled and elderly population. Services and programs to assist in their care, allowing them to remain in their own homes, and dying with dignity, are always the first on any state's budget chopping block. The reams of "begging letters" I have written in the last 45 years to legislators and governors in our state would fill a warehouse. And this year, as we wait for the final state budget, is no exception.

    I forgot to compliment you on your caring approaches and language in your examples of how we can improve our care giving. Nick's greeting of you was particularly perfect. And you're so right that we tend to do whatever needs doing ourselves, then natter on about something to distract our loved one's attention.

    Mike ~ The majority of our homeless population suffer from an untreated mental illness, often schizophrenia. Many of them are veterans. The folks in our area, who are homeless, don't panhandle. They scavenge or rely on the kindness of restaurants in the area handing them food out the back door. Our mental health care and VA care are pitifully inadequate. That's why they are on the streets and camping in the woods. It's up to every one of us to change the status quo. To me that is the language of care in action.
  8. Mike Weins's Avatar
    Some homeless people want to/like being homeless. Some homeless panhandlers actually aren't but make good money panhandling. However for those that want help, there isn't enough to go around :(
  9. Donna Thomson's Avatar
    As always, Rose, you speak wisdom and truth. We have become detached from our most vulnerable citizens and I think this trend is increasing, not decreasing. I remember a social experiment where the world famous violinist Joshua Bell played in a subway station and put out a hat. People pay hundreds of dollars to hear him play in concert halls! But as a poor busker, people just walked past and never looked or listened. Here;s the amazing video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM21gPmkDpI As you say, we just don't value people who look marginalized in some way. And look what we lose when we don't look or listen!
  10. Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
    ((((((Donna)))))) ~

    As always, another thought-provoking post. The best ice breaker is "Hello" or "Good Morning" spoken with a sincere smile. We need to learn to set aside our fear of people, who are homeless, disabled, or elderly to be more comfortable in communicating with them. And we have to be open minded and attentive to those, whose verbal communication skills are limited or non-existent, and those whose conditions cause them to be confused or forgetful. This takes practice and patience.

    But all of this begs the question: Why, in 2014, when billions are spent on World Cup Soccer and purchases of NBA teams and political candidates, are any human beings lying on the street for us to step over or help?

    In the broader sense, the language of care should translate into appropriate services for all of our disenfranchised citizens. Because those services are not provided, the overarching message is that these individuals have no value. That perception trickles down into society, and we become detached from our most vulnerable citizens. If we don't value them, then why make the effort to communicate with them?

    We need systemic change. It's overwhelming. But it starts with each of us individually changing our attitudes and our opinions to reflect compassion toward those, who are the "least among us," seeing them as "the greatest."
  11. Donna Thomson's Avatar
    Cool! I saw a news item recently in which social scientists made people on subways talk to the person sitting next to them. At first, people were horrified (I'll be so bored, or I'm so busy that I don't have time - I might miss my stop... what will I say??? etc. etc.). Well, the results were that everyone really really enjoyed the chat and each felt much better, happier, more positive about their day. That's one of the reasons I'm so interested in art forms that bring people together and get them talking. People start connecting instead of going around in an anti-social bubble (which really hurts people with disabilities and the elderly especially).
    Updated 06-15-2014 at 03:26 PM by Donna Thomson (Style.)
  12. Firehorse's Avatar
    Yesterday morning I walked out of a Peet's Coffee, got into my Prius. I noticed a homeless man sitting next to it smoking, and drinking a cup. My dog was barking in the hatchback, and I opened the windows all the way. The man looked up, so I said to him, "He likes my pickup truck much better! But I like getting 45 mpg over 14!!!! The next thing I know, we were talking about the differences between the amount of pollution in the production to usage of, bio-diesel vs methane, and gasoline in cars. Quite an unexpected, interesting and informative conversation. I ended up making myself late....
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