Ten years ago this day, my mother died.
You can read the story here and you can read more about her on this link
So where am I ten years on in the vacuum? There is much I would like to have achieved but have not and it has taken more than a few of those ten years to get over the vacuum in my life that was left when my mum passed.
I had hoped that I could look back by looking at the future, but I am still waiting to here if I have been accepted for doctoral research at Birmingham. Oh well no news is good news at least, as the saying goes.
Much has changed over that ten year period, not least the Prime Minister, as I blogged previously.
There is a great deal more access for physically disabled people than there was (but not enough) and there are wheelchair spaces on public transport, on trains and in taxis, something we campaigned for together and were told at various times was impossible.
However I increasingly appreciate what it was like for her now as I succumb to the pains of unreliable joints myself, hoping that I do not ever approach her score for operations, which seemed to be at least one a year. I am hoping I will not need any more for some time.
She had an expression, that she would have used as the title of her autobiography if she had ever had time to write it. "I don't have time to be disabled" and neither did she, it was a very hectic life we led and she was a very difficult act for me to follow, but as I board another train for London next week, for yet another NAS meeting, I know I will be doing right by her and that my activism in the autistic world is something she would have appreciated.
As for me, I don't have time to be disabled either, and to make such a statement is not in anyway to belittle those people who are not as active, but if there is a job to be done, then someone has to do it. I don't have time for those petty arguments which seem to be dividing our community at the moment, who is more disabled than who, who thinks autism is not a disability, that is all to misunderstand everything about the relativity of it all and to leave out the human dimension. We all have needs, and we have a right to have those needs met. However no rights exist where no one is willing to fight for them.
Those who think I am too much in the public eye, should stop and think whether they would really like to be so visible and subject to the vile criticisms that come with it.
My mum is past that now, and her monument is the good that she did, and that she will be remembered by.