10 Things I am Tired of Hearing

The list below is comprised of one-liners able-bodied people say to me daily. Frankly, I am tired of them, not because they are insensitive, but because you people have zero creativity.

  1. Asking me, “How fast does that thing go?”
  2. Upon seeing my scooter, “I need one of those!”
  3. Seeing me with a soda or water in my hand, “Hey, don’t drink and drive!”
  4. Asking, “Do you have a license for that thing?!”
  5. Walking up to me and patting my shoulder, “You are just being lazy, huh?”
  6. Looking at my scooter like it’s a piece of meat, “How much did that run you? Bet insurance paid for it right?”
  7. Walking up next to me, “Hey wanna race?”
  8. Pointing to their broken/injured extremity “Look, I am crippled too!”
  9. Running their hand over the front of my scooter “Wow she sure is a beauty! That is the Cadillac of scooters!”
  10. Leaning on my scooter like a wall or empty chair while it is in use. No words necessary

Since most of you are thinking, “Oh wow! I am sorry, how could they ever say these things?!” Chances are you have thought or said them yourself. So here are my snarky retorts so we don’t have to discuss it any further.

  1. “Fast enough to really hurt when I run over your toes”
  2. “Save your money, weirdo strangers will point at you and tell you they need one.
  3. “I am sorry I am too drunk to understand gibberish”
  4. “Yes and I got it from your mother”
  5. “I am sorry I missed what you said, I was napping on this extremely expensive medical device created for individuals with disabilities”
  6. “If you have to ask you cannot afford it. Trust me. And no insurance didn’t cover it, but I do accept charitable donations”
  7. “Sure! I love competition, better yet I like whooping wimps. Also I play dirty.”
  8. “Oh wow! Have you received your Oscar yet for impersonating someone with a disability? I hear it’s the quickest way to win actor/actress of the year”
  9. “It’s the Ferrari, Don’t get it twisted.”
  10. Next time this happens I will be abruptly moving the scooter out-of-the-way, and hoping you put a lot of weight into where you were once standing.

And just for good measure, do not forget to rub our shoulders and tell us that we have inspired you in some way even though we have never met. We love that.

Sarcasm is my love language by the way. Until next time lovely readers.

Much Love

BGTF

 

 

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Announcement!


Dear Friends,

My life has taken a lot of interesting twists and turns over the years and I was hoping to share with you about my latest adventure. I am now living in Nashville, TN pursuing what I consider one of my greatest life callings. I was just thirteen years old when I opened scripture and read a verse in Proverbs that I have never been able to shake. The essence of the verse is basically: Be a voice to the voiceless. I recall reading this and feeling a metaphorical and literal rush of life and breath fill my lungs.

I knew then, as I still do today, that my desire and what I refer to as my calling is to speak up for those who are often forgotten and ignored in this world. Who though? Who are the voiceless? For me, in that moment I recognized my own muteness in culture and in the Church because of my disability.

The last twelve years have only fortified this calling. I have traveled from New Jersey to Philadelphia to Colorado to Texas and now to Nashville gaining experience and understanding how I fit into this great tapestry of life. Through some clearly God-ordained connections and, honestly, miracles I now find myself in the middle of one of my greatest dreams becoming realized.

With the help of some creative friends and family I have begun a non-profit disability advocacy group called Break The Roof. The name is based off of the story found in Mark 2. Break The Roof’s mission statement is clear:

To create a culture in and out of the Church that is accessible and inclusive to people of all abilities.

Thanks to the partnership of The After Sunday Project, inc. Break The Roof is already recognized as a 501c3 non-profit program. We will be recognized as a program of The After Sunday Project, inc. until we can raise enough funds to apply for our own non-profit status. Until that time, we will continue to work on our large agenda of projects and programs that are already in production.

We fully expect our reach to become national, but I personally hope to spend considerable time working with the communities that have helped to make me who I am today. I am so incredibly excited about all that God is doing through Break The Roof, already! I am even more excited to extend to you the opportunity to partner with us at the ground level and watch what is built in the coming weeks, months and years.

Would you prayerfully consider partnering with Break The Roof by making a MONTHLY or ONE-TIME donation of $20, $40 or any other amount? Every gift will make a difference.

If so, hop over to my contact page and reach out on how you would like to partner. Or head over to The After Sunday Project: Donate and include in the “special instructions” that your donation is for Break The Roof.

I am so excited to share with you what has been put on my heart and the good work Break The Roof will be doing!

Sincerely,

Matt Curcio

Founder Break The Roof

30 Days of Writing: Day Ten

Day 10.

Well it is late at night but I am publishing something none the less. So I am going to post an excerpt from a short fiction I worked pretty hard on. All rights reserved, blah blah blah. I hope you enjoy it! Maybe it will peak your interest enough to want to read the rest. If that is true comment on the post! The whole piece is entitled “We Are All Dust”

 

 

“Hey kid, wanna play four square with us til our moms get here?”

The voice of the squeaky 2nd grader distracted me from my wobbling knees for a brief moment. “No thanks.” I thought a simple no would have been enough to end the conversation.

“Come on! Don’t be such a wussy!” His whining made it clear that they needed a fourth player and I was the only other student around. I have these moments sometimes where I believe my fantasies can become reality. These moments where I truly believe that when I step away from the wall I am leaning on I will feel a surge of strength. These short-lived moments of confusion are normally dashed away by reality. I stepped away from the wall and both of my legs buckled.

I wonder sometimes what others think when they see me fall. It doesn’t look anything like what happens when a somebody falls. When a something falls, it is without grace or stability. It is similar to a limp loaf of bread smacking the pavement. A something flops. A something doesn’t cry, but a something bleeds. And this time I bled a lot. At least it seemed more than usual as I sat back and pulled my knees in close to my chest. I watched as the thick syrupy red leaked out and soaked my white rolled down socks. The kid who asked me to play had his ride arrive moments later. I overheard his mother asking her son if that older boy was okay. I saw her son shrug and I watched them both drive away. I didn’t want their help anyway. A something doesn’t need other people to help. That is reserved for a somebody.

Eventually, my mother arrived and helped me into her car. By then my shins were caked with blood and my tears were dried up. My mother never has words to say to me in times like these. I wondered more than once if she wished she didn’t have a something. Still she tended to my bumps and bruises, the ones she could see, and I was grateful. We sat and had dinner together, she made sure I did my homework, and she excused me from the table to go to bed early. She knew I was extra tired from the day and I knew I wanted to be alone. She prayed with me, she thanked God for me, kissed my forehead and walked out leaving me to lie under my blankets staring at the wall.

I waited until I could hear the TV playing from down the hall and sat up in bed. My knees were still pink and sore as I knelt on my bed to reach under and grab my flashlight. I walked over to my desk and grabbed a pencil and my journal hidden away in the back of my top drawer. I crawled back under my covers with the flashlight in my mouth and my two hands struggling to scribble and hold open my journal at the same time.

Dear God,

            I hate this. I hate you.

            Mom says you used to help people all the time.

            Why won’t you help me?

The tip of my pencil point broke and I threw my journal on the floor in frustration. I pulled my blanket over my head and allowed a few stray salty drops to fall onto my pillow. I wanted so badly for my life to just be one long bad dream. A nightmare that I would eventually wake up from. I squeezed my eyelids tightly until my muscles’ exhaustion overtook my emotions and I fell heavy into sleep.

 

BGTF

Updates!

So here is the big update if you have not heard it yet. My personal blog here may be lacking for awhile because I will be putting most of my energy into my newest adventure! Project Able!!!!! It is a documentary! Here are some links to check out!

 

 

You can “Like” and “Share” our facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/ProjectAble1?ref=notif¬if_t=page_new_likes

Or Follow us on Twitter:

@ProjectAble1

OR Check out our blog on WordPress:

http://projectable.wordpress.com/

Or email us at:

projectable1@gmail.com

 

Enjoy! Share! Donate and please, please PRAY!

Much Love

BGTF

Convicted At Last

I am going to write about some subject matter in this post that I normally choose not to for various reasons, but here we go. It is 1:30 AM and I can’t keep from sharing.

So I have struggled these past few months with some major apathy in my life and my faith. I am sharing this because in this past week I have found a renewed sense of conviction. Now when I say conviction many hear guilt. That is not what I am saying though.

From a Christian aspect conviction is more like a challenge from the Holy Spirit. Being challenged to be better than what you have allowed yourself to be. So there are different areas in my life that I have felt convicted in lately, but one area is what I would like to share about tonight with my readers.

So in the ending verses of Proverbs God calls for His followers to do many things, but one line has always stood out to me. This line simply calls servants of God to be a voice to the voiceless.

Now there are many individuals in this world who are voiceless and I would be betraying my experience and my abilities if I presented myself as someone who can speak for everyone with a marginalized voice. I will love unconditionally all of these people but my ability to voice their experiences and their needs is beyond myself.

But there is a people group that I have always applied this verse in Proverbs to.

In Jon Foreman’s song “Instead of a Show” He states one single line that, to me, parallels this verse in Proverbs and always sends chills up my spine. He States: “Stand up for those who cannot stand at all”

So here I am in my bed at 1:30 in the morning and convicted. Convicted about a call I have always had and my fears in pursuing it.

For those who know me that read my blog you are aware that I was born with a Physical Disability called Muscular Dystrophy. If you want to know more about that I would be happy to share, but as for right now it is more important that you understand my experience instead of the scientific mumbo-jumbo.

In light of recent events in my life my disability has been taking over my mind and my life in ways that I have never expected. It has been hard. Really very hard of late.

To illustrate: I need a job for the summer. Not to just keep myself busy but to pay bills that I cannot afford to cover.

Imagine with me for a second an illustration of my life. Imagine searching for Part-time or full-time jobs online and having to immediately rule our 75% of the results because you are physically unable to perform the role.

So now you have a remaining 25% and from that you must rule out another 30-50% of the remaining jobs because their facilities are inaccessible. You may be a perfect fit for the position, but you are unable to even get to the position because it is on the third floor of a building without and elevators or ramps. Your options are limited and you have not even considered the fact yet that the remaining possibilities may hold a prejudice towards you and your disability. (Trust me that’s a real possibility)

Would you be frustrated? Cause I sure the hell am.

But this is reality for me. This is circumstance. This is life. I push on in spite of this.

My nephew is old enough to ask me questions now that are getting tough to answer. And he asked me something last night that in part crushed me and scared the shit out of me.

He asked me: “Uncle Matt, why do you walk different from everyone else?”

Simple and innocent. My nephew loves me and would never want to hurt me even in his curiosity. But he cannot help himself from recognizing the difference between me and the rest of society.

After taking some time to pray and think  I embarked down a long road of explaining my disease to my nephew and encouraging him to care for those with disabilities that he meets throughout his life.

So here is where this all comes together. My nephew is bright. Very bright and he may not have totally understood or grasped everything I said and told him but he loves me enough to show me that he cares.

I have had it pressing on my heart for a very long time to Stand up for those who cannot stand. To be the voice to the voiceless.

To be honest most who read this will not even know what Muscular Dystrophy is and I am assuming you are not a child in grade school. Now do not take that as an offense from me. That is not what I intend. What I intend is to be someone willing to make a stand and be a voice for those who are overlooked and marginalized.

I have been especially blessed in my life by family and friends who have encouraged and challenged me beyond belief, but not all are as lucky to have a support system as such.

My desire to “do something” about this passion has little to do with my disability and finding retribution for the wrongs done to me over the years. My desire has all to do with loving those whom society has deemed less-lovable or even unlovable.

My desire stems from wanting for others to endure the challenges, the pains, the fears and the insecurities that I have lived through with a hand to hold and a shoulder to lean on.

Whether this will be through advocacy in schools, in writings or somewhere else I now am seeing more and more my need to be verbal and outspoken about what it means to live a life disabled.

Your prayers are appreciated. Your questions are encouraged. Your support is welcomed.

I ask you a question tonight. Is God convicting you? Are you running scared from a desire or passion that has been present in your life for years? If so, let’s talk.

As Always my dear readers,

Much Love

BGTF