A Story that Could Be Yours

Rosa Martinez

Traffic. Photo: Caridad
Traffic. Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES – I don’t have any personal experience with what it means to have a disability, nor would I ever want to. I’ve been sick a few times and I’ve had surgery more than once, requiring the care and attention of my family members, but these were all situations that I knew wouldn’t last for more than a couple months, nothing like being incapacitated permanently.

Due to my love of reading and the constant eye problems that this causes me, I’ve thought more than once about what it would be like to be left completely blind. Every time I do, I spend entire days without sleeping, because I’m afraid I might close my vision and wake in the dark.

I’ve dreamt of being without a voice, banging on furniture, doors, cans, and pushing at people to get attention.

I’ve also wondered how I could ever manage to eat, comb my hair and write if I didn’t have any hands; or if I would be as cheerful as I am now if I didn’t have any feet, or if I suffered some other of the many disabilities that exist in this world.

I’ve never felt pity for those with disabilities; pity doesn’t help anyone, much less the person that inspires it. I feel respect and admiration for those who – despite having some psychomotor deficiency – don’t stop living, studying, working and forming part of this society where all of us grow more imperfect every day.

Unfortunately, the real problems of human beings are invisible to the eyes. Often the people who appear wonderfully well, are struggling with more defects than any handicapped person.

My greeting to Pilar Gonzalez, wherever she may be.  Receive a warm hug from a Guantanameran who admires her for what she is.