Q9) “Ned’s brother, Ira –three years older, college graduate–has already started having his own adventures. He’s played football with the Carlton College team in Germany, been an exchange student in Japan, and traveled with me on a production trip to Britain. I don’t worry about Ira having the chance to do what he wants to do. But when I think about the wonderful and enticing places I’ve been, I can’t ever recall seeing people with disabilities there. Not one….Are they not out among us because that’s the way society wants it? Or is it simply logistical? They can’t handle the myriad tasks that are part of doing interesting and exciting things? I don’t know.
Once I got Ned on the Endeavour, with enough preparation he could be handling everything that’s happened since then. But when Cathy and I are gone, who’s going to get him on the boat? It’s not a burden we can leave to Ira. He has his own life to live, and Ned is our responsibility. But it frightens and angers me that after we are gone, Ned might be doomed to a life without any excitement and adventure, a life where bowling on Tuesday nights and an annual trip to the county fair are the highlights. My idea of hell is being bored and alone. However hard Cathy and I work to make sure Ned has a variety of interesting experiences while we’re still here, there are few ways we can ensure that his possibilities won’t come to an abrupt end when we do.” pp. 24-25
How would you answer Palmer’s question about why we don’t see people with disabilities? What was your reaction to Palmer’s description of the nightmare life “bowling on Tuesday nights….”? Do you have a plan in place for after you are gone?