I have been meaning to quote from a letter I received last week from Peyton Goddard and another from her mother, Dianne Goddard. Peyton and Dianne Goddard wrote a book, I am intelligent, which I posted a couple of weeks ago, since then I am honored to be in communication with both of them. Click ‘here‘ to read that post again. I asked them for permission to quote from their letters here. They have agreed.
This is part of an email Peyton wrote me, responding to the post I wrote about her book and labels.
“Pleasured I am pointed to hearing your understanding that lasted, large, limiting, linear labels are hulking jungles greeted by limitations. Keeping one limited is to measure there wastes of their great gifts. One’s tears taste lime. Understares, terror builds. One washes their tears by return try freed to their Creator, as rest there they hunger. Polling my limits I kettled boiling red, as heard I’m trapped. There I wasted my lived times in pity. Limiting labels murder poignancy of sweet journey. I watered my liking to keep open living by questing for others better lives poignantly sweetened by encouraging swiping labels away. Wastes caging pertinent persons must stop. A trepid heart needs verses assuring “I’m deared by this very looking world. I can be me. My heart need caw no longer.” There joy is heard. These awesome pertinent persons can be freed to limitless. It greeted I hurrah…”
And this is part of an email from Peyton’s mother, Dianne –
“I spent much of Peyton’s first twenty years deliberating and comparing the severity of differences in persons labeled with disabilities that I met or read about. In the early years, this private, internal discussion between me, myself and I, offered some relief to my worries over Peyton’s delays and differences, as her challenges did not seem insurmountable if I therapied her enough. And professionals agreed. In the days before Internet could bring me many children to compare her levels of functionings and measured progress to, I found I could usually comfort my fearful self with observations that the few children we met with disabilities seemed to have much greater challenges than hers. A case in point was (removed the name for privacy’s sake) who was several years younger than Peyton. When talkative W. was three and not walking, he was tested. Duchene’s muscular dystrophy was diagnosed. Debilitating muscles until death in his early twenties was the best case scenario. Pity him I did. And compare I did. While Peyton would be continuing to improve, he would be suffering a slow and sure death.
Not so. Peyton lost functioning and filled with a suffocating sadness she could not begin to shake for well over a decade. Yet W. lived happy. At his celebration of life five years ago I reflected on my foolish attempts to comfort myself by comparing the severity of challenges, and how thankful I am for new understandings of acceptance and valuing Peyton for ALL she is. Above all, I am comforted knowing she can really feel my love finally.”
The Icare4Autism Conference begins tomorrow. More on that later. To end, a few more photographs from our adventures in Jerusalem.
The Dome of the Rock
Fragment of an Ancient Column in the Courtyard of The Dome of the Rock
Old Tombs in Valley of Jehoshaphat
Outside Zion’s Gate in the Old City