I was planning on writing about the much anticipated Grey's Anatomy premiere, but that topic will have to wait. Yesterday I opened my email and received a message that infuriated me. I would like to use this forum to respond to the email sent to me on behalf of the members of a hateful "church" located in Westboro.
Before I retort, this was the text of the email (poor grammar and typos included):
hates you. This is apparent because he took your leg as His vegence.
God only takes the limbs of sinners; so that they may serve, as an
example for the devout.
You are an abonimation from
God who will deserves to suffer without a limb in the fiery pits of
hell. You will reap the wrap of God, until, He finally strikes you down
for your evil. Amputees are a example by God for the Sins committed by
God will continue to strike down the
heratics; until they are exterminated. Repent and follow His ways. God
hates you but, as a mother, you are bound to try to save your son. If
you do not change your evil ways he will suffer from God, as all
nonbelievers will. God did not find you worth to walk his earth. That is
why he punishes you by taking your leg.
Preaching the true word of God,
became so angry after reading this message that I began to shake. In
the hopes of sorting out my thoughts, I went for a walk. I ended up
walking six miles, returning home exhausted but just as perplexed as
when I started. I've come to the conclusion that I will simply never
understand such vile hatred!
My mind tells me to ignore the
email because any response will simply fan the flame. However, letting
dogs lie has never been my strong suit. On behalf of all amputees,
especially those who are just beginning the journey and may not have the
strength yet to confront such venomous speech, I feel compelled to
I don't know any individual who has survived a
life altering experience who has not asked, "Why me?" Although I try
not to dwell on questions that I know will never be answered, in times
of grief and pain I admit I let my mind roam. During the days
immediately following my amputation when the pain was relentless and I
felt the most hopeless, I wondered if I were somehow being punished.
the pain lessened and I became adjusted to my new body, I came to
realize that everybody has something that is wrong with them. Many
suffer with invisible disabilities or keep their stresses and struggles
close to their chest. The only difference between me and everybody else
is that my disability is more visible, but I have been given the opportunity to help thousands of people.
have worked tirelessly to turn my disability, something considered
negative, into a vehicle that will leave a positive impact in the
world. Between this blog and my various contracted positions, I have
more daily interactions with amputees than anybody else in this country,
perhaps even the world. I have no doubt that my sharing my story and
reaching out to others has made a real difference. I know that members
of this "church" cannot say the same!
Spewing hate in my direction will not deter my efforts. I
have been fortunate enough to get to know hundreds of individuals
within the limb loss community. We all have different struggles and a
unique journey, but we also possess similarities. First and foremost, we
are strong survivors who will not be bullied or intimidated!
am a cancer survivor, an amputee, and a mother. You really don't want to
mess with me. I am stronger, more determined, and braver than you
imagine. Hateful and illogical slurs cannot stop me from living a life
filled with more joys and love than most. I have one foot, but I am
I have a physical disability. But Ed, you and
your church members possess a handicap more severe. You have a
disability of the spirit and soul. I am more able, even with one leg,
than those with laser vision hate.
these "church" members see is the missing limb. If they could look
beyond their blinders they would see that I am happy. Yes, it is
possible to live a happy and fulfilling life without a leg! It's really
sad that individuals can't see beyond the scars.
was going to write my thoughts and respond to Ed. After some reflection,
it became clear that trying to employ logic with an organization that
is simply illogical will quickly become an exercise in futility. The agenda disseminated by this congregation does not deserve a response from me.