comes the most sensitive part of this section....the discussion of my having
children. This isn't something that comes up too often, and when it does, it
usually isn't pleasant. I know that a lot of talk about this subject goes
on behind my back, and people don't think I realize that. They don't think it
gets back to me, but it does.
in a while someone will criticize me for having children.....calling me
selfish.......they will feel 'appalled' that I ever entertained the thoughts of having
was inspired to write this page because of what happened to me in the fall of
2001. Just before my cable company went bankrupt and my website disappeared, a website that is dedicated to
making fun of other websites had featured my site for about a week.
These supposedly grown adults
shredded my site.....made fun of my legs, my husband, the name of my website,
and they even discussed that I should have had a set of 'hemostats' rammed into
the back of my neck at birth.......that people like me should have never been
one girl, who finds the sites for these jackals to shred, had set my site up to be
mocked and ridiculed. I couldn't believe what I was reading. I wouldn't have
known about it, at least at first, except that I have site trackers on my
website so I can monitor my standing on the search engines.
Anyway, one night,
just before bed, I checked my stats and saw that I had over 800 visitors to my
site in one day. I knew something was going on, so I followed the link from my
tracker and it led me to that vicious place.
was stunned at what I was reading. There was nothing about my site that these
people weren't making fun of. You name it, they were making jokes about it. I
hadn't seen this kind of viciousness and name calling since my school days. They
had even taken pictures from my site and doctored them up to portray my husband
and I in various situations.
naturally, I went in there and defended myself. I didn't expect to change their minds about
anything, but I was angry and I had a few things to say. I have worked very hard
on my site, and in my life, and these people totally dismissed everything
that I am and they said I had no right to live.......that I should have been killed
girl who originally posted my site came in and posted her own comment, after I
had written a scathing email to her. She told everyone there that she had
originally posted my site because she saw the 'devotees'
as 'evil'...however, it all backfired on her and they turned their attentions on
'me'..... "I" was the 'evil' one...... "I" should have not
been allowed to live. She did tell the people there to back off of me, but they
actually became worse towards me.
reading her comment, I went in and defended that at least the 'devotees'
had never given me the grief that these particular people did....that
neither me nor the devotees were evil, but that they themselves were the
evil, cruel, vicious ones.
not putting a link to their site here, and I'm not going to mention the name of
their site. I'm not about to give them any credit
or visitors. I would love to see those very same people live my life and see how
they would feel to be so casually dismissed. I wonder how well they'd
live their lives as an amputee and endure the things I've had to endure. I
wonder how many of those vicious people will end us as an amputee one day, due
to an accident or Diabetes....and if they will do as well.
as the week wore on, they began to harass me...they were writing phony
letters, pretending to be mothers of handicapped children, seeking advice. They pretended to be interested in several things, and I could tell
who they were....so I never responded. They were also signing my guestbook.
website has rules about not contacting the owners of the websites that they are
'discussing'. But these people were breaking their own rules just to give me a
I stopped answering all email that I wasn't already familiar with. I
didn't want to take the chance of one of those people being clever enough to get
a response from me and take it back to the 'den of jackals' and shred me
of them, I didn't trust anyone writing to me, except for my friends. I was being
set up by some of those people and I was very upset. So, I decided that when I
re-built my website, I would explain why I had my two children, just in case any
other judgmental 'holier than thou' people were reading about my legs and
decided that they could play 'God' and decide who should be allowed to live and who
people have asked me if the doctors had tried to discourage my family from reproducing, knowing
that they'd have a chance of being born like me.
Well, why would the doctors try to discourage me
from having children? That's like saying I don't have a right to live.
Besides, all of
the doctors and people who really knew my family knew that this was not
the sort of birth defect and problem where the thoughts of 'discouraging
reproduction' were ever discussed with us. I'm sure that if the doctors
thought that this was so 'wrong' of a life to lead that they would have
suggested something, but they never did, not to any of us. They looked at us
as 'normal', just as we looked at ourselves.
Living life as an amputee has not been nearly as
challenging as what it was like to deal with supposedly 'normal' people. They
seem to have had more of a problem with it than I ever did. They're the ones
who have made this a challenge, not the amputation.
My mother, or the doctors, had not foreseen that
her birth defect would be inherited by some of her children...no one else before her
had ever had this to happen in our
family....and until I was born, they thought it was just a fluke.
why my mom continued to give birth to more children after I was born, maybe for the same reason I that I
did. Having been an amputee all of my life, I knew no other way....and to
me... to us.....if
this is the worst that can happen to one of our children being born, then that
was a blessing. We knew no other way of life. We already knew our
potential......life could be lived fully by us. To us, we are
I look at it like this.....every day there are
'physically normal' parents
who are giving birth to future rapists, dead-beat dads, murderers, drug
addicts, pedophiles, wife beaters, prostitutes, serial killers, and lazy bums
who steal, rob, and lie in order to get through life. I have worked since I
was 14 years old and have always been a productive member of
society. Yet, to some people, having twisted legs at birth should have
signed my death certificate.
I have never been arrested, addicted to drugs, or
contributed to many of the other ills of this society. I went to a public
school and I graduated. I have 'pulled my own weight', worked, and lived. Yet,
somehow, my family is supposed to feel guilty by exercising our right to have a
Why do a lot of the 'physically normal' people who have caused
so much more pain to a lot of people, have more of a right to live than me?
How about Osama Bin Laden?...his parents were
perfectly normal, physically...but does that make him more deserving of life
than me just because his legs weren't twisted at birth? Of course not. And just look at what
So, you can't judge a person
as 'having more of a right to live' by whether or not they
were born with twisted legs. According to some people, I should have been put
to death, but someone like Osama Bin Laden gets to live because his legs were
normal. Does that make sense to you?
some of these critics of mine were to give birth to a child with twisted legs,
would they themselves want to ram a pair of hemostats in the back of their
child's neck and kill it? Would it be easy for them to do? It's what they
wanted to have happen to me.
Perfectly normal parents can have severely retarded
children, who are burdens on the family and society. Most of those ones cannot
live productive lives. So, I can think of much worse cases.
Look at the children who are born with chronic health
problems. Are some people also suggesting that perhaps people who have twins
running in their family should not have children because they may be
conjoined? There is that chance, you know. Each and every person alive has the
chance of passing along a birth defect onto their child....any child
could be born with something wrong with it.
Should people who have cancer in their family not have
children, for fear of passing it on to their children? What of people who have
other health issues that are hereditary?
Perhaps no one should have children, knowing
that any of them could be born 'gay' and live an unhappy life being
tormented in school and for the rest of their lives, possibly ending up with Aids
and suffering, or living as a social out-cast.....do you think that people
should be discouraged from having a child because of the chance of them being
born 'gay'? See, there is no difference. I know some gay people who have
had it worse than me, in some areas. That doesn't mean they should not have
But, self-righteous people who act as 'judges' like to
point their fingers and call me selfish and thoughtless, just because I had
two children. I wonder what their own little 'perfect' children have
turned out to be. I wonder if they've all turned out to be model citizens of
society. I wonder if their own children will end up spending their lives in
prison, burdening the tax payers by having to support them for the rest of
their lives. And they have more of a right to live than I do?
The only thing that was wrong with us were the twisted legs that were
eventually amputated ....and then we went on to live very productive, active
lives, holding down jobs and careers. I fail to see why there is a big concern
as to whether or not we should exercise our right to bear children.
If you could take your pick as to what physical
challenge to have, I
would suggest picking my exact leg situation. You can still lead a full
life and be someone that contributes to society, experience life, and not be a
burden on anyone.
I went to school with some very cruel children who
tormented me.....called me names, hit me, made fun of me, and made my school
years less than enjoyable. I also know that since those days, a few of them
have had children born to them that were less than 'perfect'.....and you know
what, I bet they knew exactly what their own kids were going to go through in
school, and they should......after all, they wrote the book on how to treat
people with physical challenges.
four of us amputated women in my family, this is not much different than
someone who wears glasses or a hearing aid.....wearing artificial legs is
merely a way to get from point A to point B. We can live with
this.....this is 'do-able'. We still have our health......we can still lead a
I have also found that living life as I do has made me a more patient person,
less judgmental of those with physical differences, more accepting, more
tolerant, more forgiving, and more generous. It has given me an understanding
of things that most 'normal' people could not begin to grasp.....it may be an
unwelcome knowledge, but it's a knowledge many don't have.
It has also made me realize just how shallow and petty
and cruel society can be towards those of us who are different. But in the
end, it levels out somehow....perhaps what some of them have to face later on
in their own lives will pale in comparison to what I've had to deal
I have had to build character and security that a lot
of people never dreamed of working that hard for. This made me fight harder
and dig deeper and try more....reach out for more...breathe in life, and taste
it, far better than most people I know. Ever wonder what it took for me to
feel confident as a woman, knowing I'm missing the very things that epitomizes
what sexy is when looking at a woman? I've gained a confidence most other
women never had to think about....but I did it...
And in keeping with how I'm so easily judged,
shouldn't smokers stop smoking, knowing the hell they'll be putting their
loved ones through later on when they are suffering from cancer and dying
early in life? How is my birth worse than that?
Smokers are intentionally
inflicting harm to themselves, and unnecessary grief for their loved ones who
have to watch them suffer....they know what their chances are of doing that
when they pick up the habit of smoking. It's all a chance, isn't it?
knew that there was a chance that my child could be born with legs like
mine.......smokers know that they could end up dying an early death, forcing
their loved ones to go through needless suffering and grief...rendering their
own children to be motherless, or fatherless, never being around to watch the
grandchildren grow up...much less what it does to the spouse they leave
behind. What's the difference?
So, giving birth to a 'normal looking' child is no assurance
that you will have a 'problem free child'....that your 'physically perfect'
child has more of a right to be here than I do. That very child could grow up to be
such a source of grief for people...and make people's lives a nightmare....
I think that it's a much worse problem than the way we
were born. There are other ways of being a problem to the population than
having a few deformed limbs. I'd take this over any other physical
problem any day. I wouldn't trade this for anything else. I've done
things and been to places that most of my 'physically normal' friends will
never do in their life-time. I hardly think I've been short-changed in life.
This merely enriched it, to me.
I have no regrets that my daughter was born the way she
was born...being born in a family like this, in this day and age, has helped
her to get a better grip on how to deal with this than if she had been the 'only
one' in the family like this. And my mother didn't regret having me and
my sister, knowing how our legs were.
We at least felt the sense of
'belonging' that most other amputees never feel in their families because they
are the only amputee...and we are four amputees in one family.
That void was filled long ago....we do have that sense of camaraderie when
around one other....
So, no matter how much the world had hurt us and inflicted
their cruelty, we could always come back to a place where everyone around us
was exactly as we were....being at home meant that we felt normal and we
blended in....no one was 'special'...
It's ironic.... when I was growing up, the people who
were 'physically normal', and deemed to 'have more of a right to live'
than I did, were the most cruel of them all....and society would rather have
the likes of them instead of me? Give me a break. And now that we're all grown
up, you should see how some of those ones turned out...and where they are
You know who else wanted a perfect race that passed on no
imperfection?... Hitler! He killed all handicapped people...they weren't fit
for society...and he killed the parents of such children so the imperfection
wouldn't be passed on to more children. And that's exactly who some of these
people remind me of.
And there have been 'physically normal' girls born to
my family....so it's not like it's a guarantee that all girls born will be
born with this defect....and, my grandchildren are perfectly normal.
I am a healthy, contributing member of my community.
Me, and others like me, have a right to live. A few twisted legs is not
reason enough to not have children. I don't know what it's like to have legs,
so I don't miss something that I never had anyway.
In spite of some
of the ways that 'physically normal' people have treated me and made me feel,
my life has not been so harsh and unbearable that it would have been best if I
were not born at all.
Just think of all the 'physically normal' criminals
and dictators....serial killers, rapists, wife beaters, terrorists, murderers
and molesters of children that are walking around on two perfectly good
legs.........and then tell me why they deserve to be here more than me.
Because of all the 'fake'
letters I receive from people who 'pretend' to need advice and discuss a
supposed birth defect, I am no longer answering questions or letters from
You can thank the
game-playing devotees for this.
Another thing I got tired
of was spending my time writing back to people who 'ask' for help or advice and
then I never hear from them again, not even so much as a thank you for the time
I spent answering them. I am a very busy person and don't have time for the
games or ungratefulness.