Someone told me today that they spoke to Jacob’s keyworker from his mainstream nursery and that that when she spoke of Jacob her eyes filled with tears because he was leaving at the end of this academic year to go to school and she would miss him so much.
When his preschool manager left at the end of last year we made her a card with a photo of a smiling Jacob on it, 6 months later she stopped me in a car park to say how much she loved it and that it was a good job she opened it at home as she couldn’t stop crying when she looked at it.
When Jacob laughs people seek him out, old ladies cross supermarkets to have a “chat” with him, random strangers chuckle along.
Of course I love Jacob and so am horribly biased but even though he is an immense amount of work both for me and his extensive support network, he is also a joy to be with. He can set everyone in the house off into unstoppable giggles when he finds something hilariously funny and belly laughs for Britain (I must work out how to post video, and let you all laugh along too) .
His existence gives so much positive to value to the world, he is loved, and not just by his immediate family.
These are all the things I have thought about since reading the latest set of sickening comments attributed to Councillor Collin Brewer who has recently been re-elected to Cornwall Council. If you have a stronger stomach than me you can read them here, but have a sturdy seat and your blood pressure tablets on hand. Oh, and perhaps a wall for banging your head against.
When I heard about Cllr Brewer’s original set of remarks, I was shocked but, sadly, not overly surprised. I had recently more shocked by the words of a consultant to a friend of mine regarding whether her son was worth giving a kidney transplant too because he has disabilities. The power of words to demean, to reduce someone to nothing but a drain on funds, astounds me. You can read my friend’s thoughts and experience here.
Mr Brewer sees no value in people with disabilities and sees them only as a burden to society. Think again Mr Brewer. Our children have immense value, value in their open and loving hearts and the way they enrich and touch the lives of others. Value doesn’t purely lie in terms of economics. Your life is less rich for not seeing this simple truth.
I asked you, Cllr Brewer, have you considered that that disability could lie around the corner for anyone of us, for our parents, for our children; for any number of reasons? If society starts to make judgements about who is entitled to life and who isn’t, where does it end?
As a final note I should add that I live in Cornwall and that the words of this one man should in no way be considered as reflection of Cornwall Council or the attitude of Cornish people in general. On a personal note, our local councillor has always been kind and friendly to Jacob and concerned for his well being. Please see the peaceful protest blog linky set up by Hayley from Down Side Up, you can read all of the other great posts here.