Friday, December 4, 2009

My Wife the Hero

My wife is a hero. Her name is Lisa Dwyer-Short. We call her Dubba. She works with children with multiple handicaps in the school district where we live. Like most teachers, Dubba doesn't make a fraction of what her most important work is worth, but I have seen her create miracles for kids who never would have dreamed of some of the opportunities she has created for them. She constantly is thinking of ways to expose her developmentally disabled, autistic and physically handicapped students to new experiences. My heart bursts with pride when I think of the school talent shows that ended with acts she put together featuring her students dancing on feet and in wheel chairs and the look of pure joy on their faces as their able-bodied classmates stood and roared in support. No one claps for these children, but Dubba creates opportunities for them to feel love and support where they never could have imagined it before. Even things that seem so simple to most people are unimaginable to these children and Dubba makes them real. Creating a birthday party for a disabled teenager who only wants the things every teen girl wants. A party with gifts and cards and cake, but most importantly one attended by so many "regular" students who just came to give the birthday girl a hug. All of which probably would never have happened without Dubba. She fought for permission to take the girl to see "New Moon"- something the girl never could have imagined and something she never will forget. But more importantly, it's the every day, hard, thankless work of loving, teaching and advocating for these kids that Dubba and so many people like her do that is really miraculous.

I am used to applause. OK...I am kind of addicted to it. But it's work like Dubba's that is some of the most important work I can think of because it's work that gives back to the world, that contributes and makes the world a better place -makes someone ELSE'S life better...and she hardly ever gets applause at all. Yet she deserves a standing ovation. I just wanted her and so many like her to know I notice, I appreciate it, I am in awe of it and I proudly stand and applaud.

We creative types are always looking for inspiration. For me I only have to look at the work Dubba does every day. A true hero.

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