Monday, 25 August 2014

PS (to Richard Dawkins)


I'm sorry to trouble you again, Richard, but I thought you might like this. I happened upon it again this morning, and I thought of you. It's a photo of a happy family wedding, just over two weeks ago; the bride and her sister, plus husbands. But who's that on the right, I hear you ask?

Well, that's the mother of the two girls. She's my sister, born very prematurely with severe disabilities. Perhaps she, too, should have been aborted, but fortunately she was not. She looks happy, doesn't she? I'm glad you agree, because she's an amazing woman. Despite all the odds, she trained as a teacher and an actress, married and had these two wonderful - and they really are wonderful - daughters. She writes poems, gives one-woman shows, and although now widowed and living alone, and in constant pain, she coaches schoolchildren, helps out at her local primary school and keeps us all amused with her great sense of humour. (She's also a pillar of her local churh, but I suppose I oughtn't to have mentioned that.)

So you see, the disabled have so much to offer, not least their example. She may not have made any great scientific discoveries (apart from how many times it's possible to fall out of a wheechair without killing yourself), but all of us who know her are grateful to have done so. She is, quite simply, one of the most inspirational people I've ever met.

Now, you must excuse me. I have a novel to write.

26 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more. Is the fit lass on the left disabled or did is she just a bit absent minded? She appears to have forgotten her frock.
    Your sister looks fine to me and takes a good picture.

    Dawkins is a fool as I have said before. Don't listen to him or comment on him it just makes him more arrogant.
    I actually agree that the world would be better without him but wouldn't have suggested abortion to his mother. It's not my place to act like God. I leave that sort of thing to Prince Charles and his hand waving mother.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fit lass is wearing just what she was meant to be wearing, and very fetching she looked, too.

      As for Dawkins, I doubt whether he will ever come across me or my blog, but if you're there, Rchard, buy my books! You can afford them.

      Delete
    2. I wasn't criticising. I have always liked girls in petticoats. A rare sight for me these days.

      Delete
  2. It's just stupid to suggest a person with a disability can't have anything to offer. Of course they can - and very often do. (And some have made scientific discoveries)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point. I wonder whether Dawkins would send Steven Hawkin on a one way trip to Swizerland. After all, you can't get much more disabled than he is.

      Delete
  3. Love this wedding photo that you showed us here, your sister looks very pretty in blue, and she looks like you too! And I like the short dress for the bridesmaid or maid of honor. I say wear short dresses when you're young, when you are older, they should be forbidden!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree about short dresses, Kay. Ditto bikinis. My sister and I went on a kid of cyber shopping trip for that blouse, both on our iPads and speaking to each other on the phone. Much more restful than conventional shopping, although no coffee :(

      Delete
  4. There certainly are cases where severe disability could necessitate a termination, but Down's is not one; nor obviously is your sister's. For me this is a little like the death penalty; I'm mostly against it, but occasionally it is warranted.

    Adrian always makes me laugh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cro, I'm sure Adrian is on something, but can't quite work out what. Magic heather, perhaps. Or maybe just a few too many drops of the hard stuff. Perhaps he'd like to tell us?

      Delete
    2. He must have a very good supply.

      Delete
    3. No hard stuff, just lack of sleep and adrenalin. I am going to the big shop today I'll think about getting a wine box. You never know it may improve things.

      Delete
    4. Adrian, go mad and buy two. One runs out so quickly, doesn't it.

      Delete
  5. What a beautiful photo - your sister looks like you!

    Until his specialist told us that our youngest son "coped remarkably well with his disability" when he was 5 we didn't even consider it one - and neither did (does) he.
    Everyone is entitled to their chance at life x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Teresa. I'm glad you agree.

      Delete
  6. So, put that in your pipe and smoke it, Richard Dawkins. And yes, your sister does look like you. What a lovely happy photograph.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maggie, it was SUCH a happy day. One of the best weddings I can remember.

      Delete
  7. Happy, beautiful people, inside and out (if they weren't beautiful inside, they wouldn't manage such wonderful smiles).
    As for short dresses - how old is too old for a short dress, I wonder? Because I quite like to wear short-ish skirts and dresses (not vulgarly short) and don't like to think of me being too old for them at 46.

    Hmm... Dawkins... I've read a few of his books years ago and found them very good examples of non-fiction with an entertaining value, but in none of them did he have a go at people with disabilities. Your blog was the first time I heard of his views on the subject. Needless to say, I do not agree with him. Not at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Meike. I do wonder how much good Dawkins himself has done. Nobody will ever do away with God, whatever anyone may wish, so he's onto a loser there. I'm sure he's a very able man, but very able doesn't equate to good.

      Delete
  8. An inspirational post Frances.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beautiful photo and lovely post, Frances. What an amazing person your sister is, by anyone's standards!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's great, Rosemary. Eccentric, quite mad and totally generous. What more could anyone ask?

      Delete
  10. Wonderful post, Frances. I don't know Richard Dawkins but similar views always make me very angry too. I have a very close friend since nearly 40 years who has had a similar struggle as your sister her whole life (and still has) and yet has meant and still means SO much to SO many people. If there is one area not affected by her multiple handicaps, it's her ability for meaningful relationships with other people!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, DT. A very helpful comment.

      Delete
  11. Such beautiful ladies, all three. Frances, your sister is not only awe-inspiring, but has the happiest face I have ever seen. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Joanna. has an amazing capacity for joy despite all her problems.

      Delete