The Light We Carry
Starting to read Michelle Obama’s “The Light We Carry, “ a gift inside the November Ivy Box, and I’m instantly drawn in by her description of her father’s walking cane, which she refers to as a tool. I didn’t know he had MS. How could I? Yet her references to the way her family “worried about things that other families didn’t seem to worry about” feels palpably familiar.
While reading Mrs. Obama’s words I sense all the places and events my family avoids or misses because our “tools” are not conducive for the journey. I once lived in a beautiful home in West Midtown Atlanta, Georgia, and whenever my family visited from Florida we would have to book a handicap-accessible suite at the downtown hotel because my sister could not get up the steps to enter the home. My family has practiced caution ever since I was six, and my sister is in her forties.
I know about the watchfulness Mrs. Obama mentions, and I know the differences that precede us before anyone gets to know us—if they even choose to get to know us. I recognize that they see it before they see us. And yes, I have been half-guarded, equally bold, and often tired for most of my life. Not to mention being mentally exhausted trying to figure it out with my mother.
Anyway, I didn’t get past page seven. I could have read further, but I always take a long pause when I learn about families living with or who have lived with physical challenges.
I will pick this up tomorrow evening.
And sweet sleep to the families with special-needs loved ones. I’m sure you need it, but I hope you wouldn’t trade the love these extraordinary people bring into your lives for anything in the world.
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