A woman with a disability stopped by my office briefly today. She said that she wanted to talk to me next week and we set a date and time to sit down and talk. She told me a bit about what was going on so I’d know what she wanted to talk about. She told me about things that were coming up that she was scared of … and she told me of changes she wanted to make. She looked emotional and completely engaged in what she was saying.

I listened.
And I listened hard.
This is a woman I met when she was living in a huge institution. There people feared her. There people avoided her. There life passed her by.
Her eyes.
When I met her.
Were dim like the dark that comes when life is no longer fuel.
Her voice.
When I met her.
Was soft, and distant, as if she’d given up the idea of being heard.
Now here she stood. Fire in her eyes, strength in her voice. She is fully engaged and takes each breath like it matters, really matters, that she is living.
She held no torch.
But she is lady liberty.
Her road has been long and hard. But is it is her road. For better or worse she decides which turns to take. And she wants to talk to me, again. She remembers the first time we spoke. She remembers me being there, in that place, she remembers the captivity.
So we will meet and she will have things to say, stories to tell, demands to make.
Not just because she is alive.
But because she is free.
And the lights turned back on.
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