Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christy Brown's Left Foot

Tonight we watched a movie called "My Left Foot." It's the story of Christy Brown (who's a man), a famous author, poet, artist, who had cerebral palsy. It was adapted from his autobiography of the same name, and it was a good movie.

He was born in the 30s in Dublin, Ireland, and just like the doctors told us, they told his mom that he would be mentally retarded, a vegetable. But, he showed them he was smart, he could write, he could think, he could paint, and eventually he could talk. And he did it all with his left foot...except for the talking, he did that with his mouth!!

I think what moved me the most about the movie/story, was his mother's love for him. He had about a million brothers and sisters, but he was never treated any differently. Even the neighborhood kids included him in their games and things, wheeling him around in a wheelbarrow before he had a wheelchair. But nobody loved him like his mother. When no one else believed in him, she did. And when his dad was laid off and they had no coal to heat the house and were eating porridge for every meal, she didn't dip into her savings she was setting aside for Christy's wheelchair.

And Christy loved her back, even before he could talk or communicate in any way, you could tell they had a special relationship. She told him when he was young that even if she couldn't understand him, God could, and she took him to church. She loved that boy unconditionally. When he had more to give, he gave back to his mom, to thank her for all that she gave him for so many years.

I know that as a mother, I am put into a special role. There is a bond between me and my children that is indescribable, that you can only understand if you've had children. But there's something even more special because my child is disabled, something too deep for words. She is my beautiful baby, the one I worked so hard for, and she is perfect to me the way she is. I know that we're gonna come up against hardships; unkind words, staring, questions, but that's only because other people don't know my baby like I do. And when she's 2 and probably not walking yet, that's okay, because she'll probably be able to do some form of a crawl or a roll, and that will be more than she can do now. And that will be awesome. Already, we look at what she can do and think she's awesome.

I hope that someday, when it's time to write Sadie's story, that she will remember me (and Brian) as supportive, loving, and always encouraging to her. I hope that we can be the kind of parents who push her to always do her best and everything that she's capable of...just like anyone would expect of their children without handicaps. And I hope that she becomes an independent person, capable of loving and living life to its fullest.

If you want to enjoy a very sweet movie (or maybe you're ambitious enough to get the book, I know I'll be finding it at the library soon!), I highly recommend "My Left Foot."

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