Here are two survival stories the Bruised Muse can’t resist sharing. Let’s call them Survival Stories #41 and #42. Please share yours by writing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by leaving a comment.
The first is from a good friend during my teen years, Steve, with whom I recently reconnected via the magic of Facebook. Now Steve insists we were such good friends that we once kissed all those years ago. I can neither confirm nor deny this event, because my brain these days is barely more than swiss cheese and my memory is just a memory. And of course confirmation is made even more difficult by the fact that my brain back then was severely addled by excessive drug use. (The in-between years are what count.) No matter. It’s far more important that Steve nearly died about fifteen years ago and is now severely disabled and suffers from chronic pain, but still manages to retain his sense of humor. He writes: “Did I tell you? I feel like I’m the only contestant on the show “How Much Can You Take”, where challenges get easier, starting with near death & coma.”
And then there’s this story, which moves me beyond words, from my friend, Ralph, who is also quite a funny guy. (Actually, he’s one of the top three or five funniest people I’ve ever met) As Ralph recounts in his brilliant memoir, “Reasonable People,” he and his wife Emily adopted a nonspeaking six-year-old named DJ, even though they were told that DJ was autistic and profoundly retarded. This amazing couple took on that child with their whole hearts, and with amazing love, patience, persistence, creativity, and respect, worked with him, struggled to teach him language and to make sure he was included in school and in life, and now DJ not only isn’t retarded, he’s going to Oberlin College! Going to Oberlin, even though he is still autistic and non-speaking. Wow. Check out Ralph’s post on HuffPo.
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