Tricia doesn’t normally like to admit that she has a disability. She was born an able bodied individual and treated when she was a child, as an able bodied kid. It’s been daunting for Tricia to view herself as someone with a disability. She tells me that folks with disabilities don’t see their disabilities until an able bodied individual points them out. Tricia’s theory is that everyone has a disability and some disabilities are blatantly obvious, while others are not. During our childhood, folks from our generation often heard the phrase “nobody is perfect” , and Tricia grew up believing in this dominion of universal justice. She also believes that we all have quirks and make mistakes, but in the end, we all pretty much strive to achieve the same thing… Acceptance!
Tricia’s disability is mostly physical due to a cerebral hemorrhage in her brain stem area. This was classified as a traumatic brain injury at the age of 5. She periodically laughs or cries without warning. She describes this unpredictable behavior as being quite annoying both to herself and to anyone she might be with. Her emotions sometimes run rampant, just like some of her body parts and cannot always be controlled.
When Marshall and Tricia were married, Tricia cried hysterically through the entire ceremony! She recalls how embarrassing that was for her because she had vows to read. With a shrug, Tricia winks and says, “It happens, it’s just something I am forced to get used to.” Then with a twinkle of humor, Tricia states, “I’m a great person to cry with! Nobody cries alone in my presence!”
Which leads us to Tricia’s real message for this blog post…Tricia often wishes that people would take the time to get all the information before making judgments about someone with, or even without a disability. “We’re all human,” she says “and we all have a story to tell.”
That reminds me of a famous quote by Bodie Thoene who wrote A Daughter of Zion, “Love is the only mirror we must use to judge ourselves and others.”