6 things I learned living with a disabled person

My mom has OPLL (Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament). Basically she needs help moving. She either uses a walker or in cases where time is not a luxury she uses a wheelchair.

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So here’s what I learned through the course of our situation:

1. Patience

When mom was just starting to struggle with her mobility, it was tolerable. But when she wasn’t able to move much anymore, it was hard because everything slows down. Of course, we all adjusted willingly to her situation, but sometimes you get really impatient with stuff, and you tend to forget that she’s disabled and treat her like everything’s normal.

Throughout this experience, we all grew more patient not just with my Mom, but also with everything else in our lives. It’s an amazing feeling not to be pissed right away. (haha)

2. Obedience

I am sort of disobedient with the “big” things. (ie: “go home early”, “text your whereabouts”, “don’t spend all your money on wants”,etc) But I comply with the little things. (“get me a glass of water”, “could you set the table”, “wash the dishes”).

Since mom was literally dependent with everything, sometimes you get a little annoyed when she asks for a lot of little stuff, because of course she needs them. But knowing her situation, you obey them even if you’re just on couch potato mode. Eventually it grows on you, and you even voluntarily ask if she needs anything. It actually helps in life, because you become a better person generally, and also to the world.

3. Strength

Mom not being exactly light kind of adds a little more dilemma, since not all of us (ie: me) has much of an upper body strength or body strength entirely. It’s hard to take care of her especially when we’re out and she needs to go to different places. I always need to have a companion, but there are times where everybody’s occupied with work.

Since there have been a couple of times already when it’s only mom and I out and about in the city, I’ve discovered that I do have strength it’s just dormant, but if triggered is kind of really really really useful. (Thank you, years of pe)

Well, strength isn’t really the kind you learn, but probably the part of discovering the amount of it you have stored in you or even the lack of it — yep that’s what I’m talking about.

4. The world’s not really wheelchair friendly

Going to different therapy sessions, dinners, family outings, or movie night’s we discovered that the world needs to be more friendly to those who are disabled.

Case #1: Some sidewalks don’t have wheelchair ramps.

– What about those who live near malls or parks who just want to walk their way there but can’t, because there are no ramps? so they at home instead and be bored out of their lives? Justice please!

Case #2: Some ramps are too steep.

– It’s so hard to push someone up/down without any help. Sometimes you won’t have anyone with you, what then? And it’s also prone to accidents.

Case #3: Some bathrooms don’t have a “for handicapped” cubicle. (ie: most gas stations)

– Besides the wheel chair taking up a lot of space, having to go to a normal cubicle takes time and it’s not that comfortable for them.

*that’s enough evidence to prove this world is not that friendly to disabled people.* I’m kidding, but it’s a start.

5. Types of people

Having a usual Sunday family bonding day, we go to a lot of crowded places, such as movies and restaurants, etc. And there are only two types of people: the kind respectful people & assholes who don’t care.

*Kind respectful people give way immediately whether it be in line to the elevator, cashier, or while walking around so as not to burden us more.

*Assholes who don’t care cut you off even if they already saw you’re with a disabled person, doesn’t move away especially if it gets crowded, doesn’t say sorry if they bump you or cause you to have a sudden stop, and doesn’t sympathize on the burden we already carry but instead adds more to it.

6. Perks

Not much really except having the elevator to yourselves, being prioritized in lanes, easy parking space and having discounts.

All I really wanted is to tell people that living with a disabled person isn’t a burden, it will be hard at first but it will help you a lot too.

May this bring awareness to those concerned, and also a reminder to people that some don’t have it easy so let’s just make it better for them even if it’s just giving way.

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Summer Reading List

The Philippines recently approved the K-12 system, and because of that some schools are re-adjusting the school year calendar, but ours didn’t. So while some are still in school now (April-May), I have been on summer vacation since March. But that’s not the worst part, almost all of my friends are part of those schools that adjusted so I’m left here hoping that their schedules will be free for a couple of days so we could hit the road and unwind for awhile. Although, negativity aside at least my mom won’t get to spend much on my getaways (that being NONE *cries*) ANDD I don’t get to be burned by the scorching heat (seriously sun you have got to chill!) Anyway my intro’s too long already, so let’s just leave it at — instead of having real life adventures, romance, and whatever normal teens experience during summer, I get that same experience in books!

Here’s a list of a few books that blew me away, and drove me crazy, in a good way. (Mostly fiction though, and for teens)

1. If I stay by Gayle Forman

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If you’re up for some intense feels trip, If I Stay is the book for you!

I first found out about this a year ago when they released a trailer for the movie (starring Chloe Moretz) and I just can’t get enough of it and decided that I had to read it, because the movie wasn’t out yet that time. It was worth it! Let’s just say you’ll need a box of tissue before wanting to start.

Quick summary: If I Stay  is all about this girl, Mia and the events in her life that leads her to a major decision not everyone has the luxury to have. But this decision isn’t a piece of cake (not even 12). If she goes on she’d be living a life without her family, if she doesn’t she’ll leave a lot of opportunities behind and also other loved ones who she still has. So the question is, did she stay or did she choose to leave?

Spoiler Alert! Here’s one of my favorite lines from a significant character: Adam

“If you stay , I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll quit the band, go with you to New York. But if you need me to go away, I’ll do that, too. I was talking to Liz and she said maybe coming back to your old life would just be too painful, that maybe it’d be easier for you t(o erase us. And that would suck, but I’d do it. I can lose you like that if I don’t lose you today. I’ll let you go…If you Stay”

2. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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If you’re up for a not-so-ordinary love story, Eleanor & Park is for you!

I first heard about E&P when one of my friends said it was good. And this friend of mine barely even reads a page of anything voluntarily, and for him to finish a book is an actual achievement. So I kind of got curious about what in this book caught his attention and when I started reading I couldn’t let go of it either.

Quick Summary: Eleanor & Park is a book about…. Eleanor & Park! Duh. It’s about how they met, how they started talking, how they caught feelings for each other, how they fell in love, and how they fought for it. The thing here is that they’re so different in a lot of ways be it financial, family background, social status etc. and the fact that they made it work even if there were a lot of hindrances just made me want to have the same thing! (lol this is what happens to people who are single for too long)

Spoiler Alert! Here’s one of my favorite lines from Eleanor:

You saved my life. Not forever, not for good. Probably just temporarily. But you saved my life, and now I’m yours. The me that’s me right now is yours. Always.”

3. This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

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If you’re up for a love story that started as anonymous pen pals that lived far from each other, and suddenly one of them was given the opportunity to visit the other one without her knowing, then This is What Happy Looks Like is for you.

I first heard about This is What Happy Looks Like when I was stalking some girls photos on twitter and she posted about this book and it got me really curious about the title.. What does happy look like? So I went to find out..

Quick Summary: This is What Happy Looks Like is about two people — Ellie & Graham, who met (accidentally) when Graham sent the wrong email. Discovering that they actually are fond of each other, they started exchanging emails for a couple of months. (Talking about anything, and everything.) Something about opening up to a stranger that gives you some kind of peace. But Graham was given the opportunity to travel to where Ellie is, and he wanted to get to meet her in person. And when they did…well let’s just say it is (indeed) what happy looks like.

Spoiler Alert! Here’s some of my favorite lines from the book:

Childhood memories were like airplane luggage; no matter how far you were traveling or how long you needed them to last, you were only ever allowed two bags. And while those bags might hold a few hazy recollections– a diner with a jukebox at the table, being pushed on the swing set, the way it felt to be picked up and spun around — it didn’t seem enough to last a whole lifetime.

How are you suppose to find what you’re looking for if you’re not convinced it’s even out there”

But she looked beautiful, the kind of beautiful that makes your heart fill like a balloon, so light you worry it might carry you away.” 

4. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

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If you’re up for some cheesy and sweet story about love at first sight, then The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is for you. (not much of an intro, I apologize)

I first found out about this book when I was downloading an e-book of This is What Happy Looks Like, and since it was written by the same author, the site suggested it as well. I got a little curious because of the title so I downloaded it too and I didn’t regret it! (btw I download e-books at http://tuebl.ca/)

Quick Summary: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is about two people — Hadley and Oliver (btw he’s british.. dreamy!!!) who met on the airport and luckily is on the same flight, but they wouldn’t be if Hadley didn’t miss her original flight. (talk about meant to be!) So long story short they developed some kind of connection that drew them closer even if they were headed in separate places. (same country though..still) So what is the statistical probability of love at first sight? Well, you’ve got to read in order to find out. But I do know one thing though, people who meet in airports are seventy-two percent more likely to fall for each other than people who meet anywhere else. Lol I’m kidding, but that’s according to Oliver so it’s up to you if you choose to believe him or not.

Spoiler Alert! Here are some of my favorite lines from the book:

“There’s always a gap between the burn and the sting of it, the pain and the realization.”

Her hatred for him was the worst kind of love, a tortured longing, a misguided wish that made her heart hammer in her chest. She couldn’t ignore the disjointed sensation that they were now two different pieces of two different puzzles, and nothing in the world could make them fit together again.

It’s one thing to runaway when someone’s chasing you. It’s entirely another to be running all alone.” 

5. FAVORITE BOOKS OF (THE) JENNY HAN!

5.1.a The Summer I turned Pretty

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If you’re in to love triangles then The Summer I turned Pretty (and the next two books) are for you.

I first found out about this book when I was reading To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and I was so in love with it that I had to search about other books written by Jenny Han and I saw this together with the other 2 books which are a continuation of this one, and I honestly didn’t sleep till I finished it. My eyes were so tired but I resisted the urge to sleep just to know what happened next and the whole time it kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t get enough of it… it was too good! I love you Jenny Han!!!!!!! (yep…super fan!!!!)

Quick Summary: The Summer I Turned Pretty revolves around Belly, but also it’s sub characters, Conrad and Jeremy (brothers). All of them grew up together in this town Counsins which was owned by Susannah (C&J’s mother, and also the best friend of Belly’s mother), they went there every summer since they were kids. Belly grew up in a boy’s environment (Conrad, Jeremy, and Steven — Belly’s brother), being the only girl she was usually left out and not given much attention. But this one summer when puberty did Belly very well, the Fisher boys (C&J) see her in a completely different way. Their once childhood friend may be something more than that… Although both the Fisher boys’ genes are gold, Belly only had one guy in mind, and she has been wishing he was hers ever since they were kids. So which brother did Belly end up with in the end?

Spoiler Alert! Here’s some of my favorite lines in the book:

People are a million times more beautiful to you in your mind. It’s like you see through them through a special lens– but maybe if it’s how you see them, that’s how they really are.” 

“He made it so hard not to love him. When he was sweet like this, I remembered why I did. Used to love him, I mean. I remembered everything.” 

5.1.b It’s Not Summer Without You

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Quick Summary: Someone from “The Summer I turned pretty” is really sick, causing chaos to everyone. Especially to Belly’s guy who decided to cope up with his stress by pushing everyone away, resulting to an end to his relationship with Belly. (worst part is he left Belly during her prom *cries a river* no girl deserves to be left on her prom!!!!) So eventually this sick character passed away (because she refused any chemicals to be injected inside her) and they were all devastated, and depressed. Conrad being the one mostly affected, hasn’t been doing good in school and ends up running away. Jeremy calls Belly to ask for help and they both agreed that Conrad would most probably be in Counsins. Still not knowing why Conrad would leave school, Belly and Jeremy rushed to Counsins, and finds out that Mr. Fisher (C&J’s father, divorced with Susannah) was planning (sort of decided actually) to sell the house they all grew up in. Thus the mysterious reason for Conrad to leave school during his Finals was revealed. Shocked and caught off guard, Belly calls Laurel (her mother, and Susannah’s best friend) to help make everything right again. So fast forward, Laurel convinced Mr. Fisher to keep the house because Susannah wants the boys to have it, Conrad makes it to his Finals and passes it, and Jeremy now ends up with Belly. (OK CAT’S OUT OF THE BAG.. YES, CONRAD WAS THE FIRST GUY!!)  So what happens next for them?

Spoiler Alert! Here’s one of my favorite lines from Jeremy:

“Because I do. I like her. I really like her. Do you?”  He didn’t blink, didn’t even hesitate. “No.” 

It really pissed me off. He was full of shit. He liked her. He more than liked her. But he couldn’t admit it, wouldn’t man up. Conrad would never be that guy, the kind of guy Belly needed. Someone who would be there for her, someone she could count on. I could. If she’d let me, I could be that guy. 

I was pissed at him, but I had to admit I was relieved, too. No matter how many times he hurt her, I knew that if he wanted her back, she was his. She always had been. But maybe now that Conrad wasn’t standing in the way, she’d see me there too. 

5.3 We’ll Always Have Summer

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Quick Summary: Jeremy and Belly enrolled in the same college having a perfectly good relationship and being the perfect couple. But then this one Spring break, Jeremy and his brother’s from his fraternity went to Cabo (Belly didn’t go because it wasn’t her scene, and she didn’t want Jeremy to feel left out so she let him go without her) and Jeremy cheated with this girl from their sister fraternity. Belly finds out a couple of months later, and breaks up with him on the spot. But of course Belly still forgave him, and then they decide to get married. (Yup too young and stupid, same feels. They didn’t even think much of it through!!!! Ugh) Anyway, so when they decided to drop the bomb to their families, expecting full support from all of them, they were disappointed to find out that Laurel was completely opposed to the whole idea. (Why not wait till you both graduate, she protested. I’m on Laurel’s side here) Being young and stubborn, they completely disregarded Laurel’s opinion and ended up pushing through the wedding — preparations and the like. (btw wedding’s at Counsins!!) So here’s where it get’s pretty serious.. on the eve of the wedding, the usuals happened — bachelor and bachelorette party. But while the boys are on their nth shot, Jeremy’s best men ended up talking about the time Jeremy  cheated and Conrad heard the whole thing. Mad at his brother and worried that Belly might go through the wedding not knowing of his brother’s infidelity, he rushes back to tell her only to find out that Belly already knew. So Conrad now gets frustrated, because he never thought Belly would be the kind of girl who puts up with that kind of behavior. And now Belly’s confused on why Conrad is frustrated, and asks him (more of shouted at him) why he cared so much, leading to Conrad confessing that he still loves Belly, and never really lost his love for her. Then Belly is now bat shit crazy on what to do, because she can’t just leave Jeremy on the altar and she can’t just choose Conrad who suddenly decides to confess on the eve of her wedding.. like wtf right? So what happens now? Does she choose Jeremy, Conrad, or does she just decides to end up with nobody? Ahhhh Fasten your seat belts, and get ready for a roller coaster of feels!!

Spoiler Alert! Here’s some of my favorite line’s from Conrad:

“He was marrying my girl, and I couldn’t do anything about it. I just had to watch it happen, because he was my brother, because I promised.” 

“I don’t know if I’ll ever get you out of my system, not completely. I have…. this feeling. That you’ll always be there. Here.” 

5.2 To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

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If you’re up for some insanely cute and irresistible kind of romance then To all the boys I’ve loved before is for you!

I first found out about this book when one of my closest friends posted it on instagram, and both the cover and the title reeled me in. This book is the reason I FELL IN LOVE WITH JENNY HAN!

Quick Summary: To all the boys I’ve loved before is about Lara Jean who writes to the boys she loves but couldn’t have, as a form of closure to herself. But this one situation came wherein someone messed with her box of letters and sent them to the guys, and now her life is screwed up. Why? One of the guys turned up to be gay (being gay isn’t the problem here, it’s the thought that she might get laughed at on a letter she made when she was kid and probably during the time when the guy was still unsure of his sexuality), One was a super popular jock who is the boyfriend of this girl she hated (and probably hates her too, but is kind of ironic because they used to be best friends), and one was  her sister’s long term boyfriend who she knew since they were kids (and the bad part here was when the guy read the letter he then confessed that he liked her too. but the even worst part? her sister’s a long way from home and has no clue what’s happening) Not that convinced it’s a good story? Read the book and find out what’s the deal on why everybody’s raving about this book +++ there’s a sequel “PS: I still love you” (AHHHHHHH CAN NOT CONTAIN MY FEELS MUST HAVE IT WHEN IT’S OUT IN STORES — MAY 20 RELEASE DATE) Curious on who Lara Jean’s in love with huh? Read To all the boys I’ve loved before first, you won’t regret it!!

Spoiler Alert! Here’s one of my favorite lines from Lara Jean:

“To belong to someone– I didn’t know it, but now that I think about, it seems like that’s all I ever wanted. To really be somebody’s, and to have them be mine.” 

6. The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin

If you’re up for some love story of two people with sort of special powers with a tad of suspense and some supernatural, Carl Jung Theory related story, then The Mara Dyer Trilogy is for you!

(ps: if you’re a bs psychology/ behavioral science (ab) student or you have been introduced to Carl Jung and his theory of personality, I think you’ll enjoy this more. But to the general public, you’ll find it very interesting and addicting! The way Michelle wrote every event perfectly keeps you wanting more every chapter.)

I found out about this book when a fellow bookworm suggested it to me since I like fiction. I have to remind myself to thank her, because I loved it so much! It made me have a book paralysis until now. It was so mind fucking I needed to go out to have some sense of reality… Freaked me out a little.

6.1 The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

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Quick Summary: Mara Dyer was in an accident that killed her boyfriend, her boyfriend’s sister, and her best friend. But the real issue here is how on earth does a girl survive a building collapsing on them?

Suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), Mara convinced her family to leave Rhode Island, and move to Florida, to have a completely different life, school, “friends”, etc. But since they moved she’s been “seeing” things (hallucinations? or is it real?), causing her mother to panic and label her unstable, prescribing her pills to lessen the PTSD episodes.

Being a late enrollee, she was the odd one/ the new girl, and she has no idea of the hierarchies and royalties of the institution, so she had to find out the hard way, that being the number 1 punching bag of the school bully. But she brought it upon herself (well not like she intended for it to happen). The hottest guy on campus, Noah Shaw, noticed her since day 1, but being an ex of the bully, he made Mara a nemesis. But it all worked out fine since they started dating and they were both untouchable.

Things started to get weird when the murders happened.. dare to find out who’s the killer?

Spoiler Alert! Here’s one of my fave snippets from Mara and Noah’s conversations:

N: “You’re the only person who knows, Mara. The only person who knows me. I don’t want to lose you.” 

M: “Maybe you won’t” but I was already gone. And when I looked at him, I saw that he knew it. 

N: “If you do this,” he said slowly, “you’ll become someone else.” 

S: “I already am someone else.”  

N: “No you’re not. You’re the girl who called me an asshole the first time we spoke. The girl who tried to pay for lunch even after you learned I had more money than God. You’re the girl who risked her ass to save a dying dog, who makes my chest ache whether you’re wearing green silk or ripped jeans. You’re the girl I— You’re my girl.” 

6.2 The Evolution of Mara Dyer

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Quick Summary: Mara now wakes up at a Psych Ward, and is declared unstable and must be detained for awhile until the doctors say that she will be fine. When everything eventually did, she was now endorsed to an out patient kind of therapy which she was required to go to everyday, and would be considered her school for awhile.

So what happens next to Mara and Noah? They find out that whatever weird thing they’ve been feeling, seeing, etc was sort of similar with each other, making them want to seek for meaning on why they have that special power. (Carl Jung theory now enter’s. Explaining thing’s like genetic inheritance, archetypes, etc.) But deep in to the book they’ll find out that there are other’s who share the same power. Their biggest problem here is whenever they open up to their psychiatrists about what they’re feeling , the doctors seem to think they’re crazy. (aka The Cassandra Effect. Cursed by Apollo with prophetic visions that always came true, but were never believed by anyone else.)

Now a new dilemma arises, they’re stuck in an asylum kidnapped by their suppose to be psychologist during a retreat on an island without a name. Why were they there? Will they ever find a way out? (probably because there’s a third book. Lol!), Will there be more murders? Or will one of them die? Go find out!!!!

Spoiler Alert! Here are some of my favorite lines from the book:

“Sometimes the biggest secrets you can only tell a stranger.” 

“There is no truth, Only perspectives. Philosophy 101!” 

“Boys are stupid, and girls are trouble.”

“This was the boy I loved. A little bit messy. A little bit ruined. A beautiful disaster. Just like me.”

6.3 The Retribution of Mara Dyer

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Quick Summary: Of course as expected, they find a way out and they seek for more explanation leading them to this warehouse in New York where they find out that they were “carriers” of this specific gene that gives them those special power, they were actually inherited from their ancestors who experienced the same thing.  So once they found out what’s been happening to them, it freaked them out just thinking about their capabilities, and what could happen if they don’t know enough of it since all of them manifested already.

Will Mara and Noah still end up with each other after everything that has happened? Read to find out!

Spoiler Alert! Here’s some of my favorite lines from the book:

You should’ve seen the way he was looking at you while you were out. Like you’re the ocean and he’s desperate to drown.” 

Do not find peace. Find passion. Find something you want to die for more than something you want to live for. If it is your children, then fight not just for your own but for orphans who have no one else. If it is for medicine, then do not just seek out a cure for cancer but search for a cure for AIDS as well. Fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. Speak for them. Scream for them. Live and die for them. Your life will not always be a happy one, but it will have meaning.

“Maybe sometimes we can only see the truth about ourselves if someone shows us where to look.”

But I don’t need to be fixed, I don’t need to be saved. I just have to keep going.”

“The freaks shall inherit the earth!!!”

*** All quick summaries are based from my memory and are solely by me. (except the Cassandra effect it was from the book). If ever there are a few mistakes or wrong information, please forgive me! All my opinion! 🙂 xx

Hope I got to encourage you to read these awesome books! It really is worth it xx

Love,

Ali Ruth