Is Parking the only Benefit? [Inspiring Inclusion]

I am her brother
She is my sister
We are twins

My birth went smoothly
My sister’s ran into difficulties, deprived of oxygen.

Our mother had a successful career
She had to give up work

My birth brought pleasure to my parents
My sister’s birth brought pleasure, but also pain, also worry.

I grew as most men do
Her growth took a different path

When I was five, I went to the local school
When she was five, she travelled 10 miles to school

I walked to school
She went in a white van

I played football
She, unable to walk, uses a wheelchair

I am ordinary
Apparently, she is special

Our parents made us feel special
Her experiences, however, made her feel anything but special

I went to university and gained a degree
She went to a ‘Centre.’

I am a teacher
My sister cannot talk

I go to the local pub
She cannot get into the local pub

I have trouble finding a parking spot
That is no problem for the driver of my sister’s van

I am thirty, married with children
She is thirty and still lives with our parents, her unpaid carers

I look after my children
My parents look after her.

I will probably live long and see my children married, become a grandparent
My sister may live long and see her carers, our parents die

My children will see I am alright as I grow old
What will my sister do when our parent’s die?

I may not know the where and when but I do understand what the future holds
My sister does not know and what will she understand when our parents die? Will she feel betrayal?

I can be included where I choose to be
My sister has been, and is often, excluded

Malcolm Henshall – IWD Poem – March 2024

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