Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chris Errera

I recently came across this story of a composer/pianist with Diastrophic Dysplasia (the same as Maddy). There is a 7 minute video which I found very uplifting. And I love how he plays piano better than me, with my long, slender "piano fingers", 10 years of training and 20 years of experience. 

I was moved to tears when his Dad was talking about the emotional time of Chris's birth. I can relate to those feelings - even though a lot of it was still unsaid.

I love how Chris said "Don't pity me. I'm doing just fine. I've lived a life that I'm very proud of, and I'm happy... If I feel sorry about myself, then people are only going to know how to feel sorry for me. It's life. I'm in the game... I don't want them when they look at me to see the disability, I want them to look at me and see the ability. The ability of what I have. The things I can bring to society. How I can be an actual player in society that benefits people... And that's my job. And that's what I feel is my gift."

I wish all of that for Maddy - the strength of character and the ability for her to find that area in which she can excel and impact people in the unlikeliest of ways.

I've been realising that people who are born with things like this have both a blessing and a curse - it is a blessing because people who are "different" are memorable. People will notice Maddy. People will watch her and give her more attention just because she's not what they expect to see. On one hand, that's an amazing opportunity as well as a difficult struggle. It's an opportunity because she will have peoples' full attention, and if she can capture it, it will be able to open doors for her that may not have existed if she were "just like everyone else". However I also know that Maddy won't be able to have "off days" where she can slip under the radar and go do her groceries without being stared at, talked about or approached about her differences. I know that all that attention can also be intrusive and even cruel at times. But I also know that it is what you make of it. And here's praying that like Chris, she'll learn how to make lemonade :)

Check out Chris's homepage here - he has more videos of his songs there.

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