Monday, July 27, 2009

There he goes.

There he goes., originally uploaded by Victoria Shade.

My dad is disabled. I know the politically correct protocol is to say he is a person with disabilities, but while I use that language for others thanks to the training ingrained in me during my time as a Disney cast member, it just never sunk in for when I talk about my dad.

He had a couple of strokes, one massive, back in 1975. He was in a coma for a couple of months. The doctors didn't think he would make it. But he did. Doesn't sound like a remarkable story, does it? But for my family it was, and for me even moreso, because I was conceived a few years after his strokes.

When I was a baby my family would go bicycle-riding. My mom would strap me into the baby chair on the back of her bike, and then she would strap in my dad on his bike by duct taping his paralyzed right hand and right foot to his bike.

When I got to elementary school, I knew my dad spoke differently than others, and that he walked slower, but I also knew he was always there to pick me up from school and he always wanted to hear about my day. I will always cherish how interested he was in me, who I was becoming as a person, what I thought about anything and everything, what I liked, what I wanted to do, how I was feeling, and how proud he was of me, .

Over the years, his health has declined further, for different health reasons. Foot surgeries. Cancer. Old age. Now he doesn't even leave his room at my parents' house more than a couple of times a week.

This picture was taken during one of our last outings. My parents' house is wonderfully close to downtown Celebration, so walking down to the barber shop was no trouble at all. Nothing made my dad feel better the way a good haircut will do.

Now he's not able to go out to the barber shop.

Love you, Dad.

Taken on a Canon PowerShot SD700 IS.

Photo originally taken on October 25, 2006 in Celebration, Florida.

Photo posted on July 27, 2009.

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