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Planting Seeds

Many, many moons ago in a land before children…

Jon and I were enjoying a relaxing short break in the Lake District (my favourite place in the whole world). At this particular point we where in Ambleside looking for somewhere to eat out that night, wanting to try somewhere new. Two gentlemen came up to us, it was their first time in Ambleside, and asked if we knew much about the restaurants around the area, “Why yes, yes we do!” We had a lovely chat about what type of food they liked and recommended a couple of places that we thought they would like. A warm goodbye and off they trotted (well walked) in the general direction that we’d pointed to and there ends our tale.

Why am I saying this? Well at this particular point I was a youth worker and I wrote this story down because I wanted to try and become a better story teller in my talks (which never happened, turns out my style isn’t storytelling), and I wrote it down because it reminded me that sometimes we get to plant the seeds of ideas, suggestions etc and we get to see them grow into a full and plentiful harvest, but quite often our role is simply to plant the seeds without seeing whether they grow and become plentiful. And that’s okay. In my two man and a restaurant story it wasn’t for us to find out whether they had found the places we suggested and had a lovely meal, as stalkerish lovely that would have been, it was about being there for exactly what we needed to be which was planting the seeds.

I write this blog to hopefully help others, it sometimes feels​ like I’m planting seeds of hope. More often than not I don’t see the effect it has and whether it grows into a wonderful and glorious harvest of hope, happiness, education, support and confidence, and I don’t write it to see it because that’s not the point. However sometimes it’s nice to find out the result. Recently a few people have written to me and told me how much this blog is helping and I’m very grateful to those kind messages. The limb difference community is such a wonderful, supportive one and I’m proud to be a part of it. However this blog wouldn’t exist without the seeds of hope, happiness, education, support and confidence planted in me by other bloggers and communities, so as it’s limb difference awareness month I thought I would dedicate this post to those who have been a big part of our limb difference journey (Ooooo the j word again), hopefully you’ll find them as epic and awesome as I have:

Born Just Right

This was the first blog I found, so it’s only fitting that it takes first place on here. I’ve mentioned before that this blog arrive at a point when everyone around us kept telling us that we must have been so devastated and we were starting to wonder if we were strange for not being. Was there something we were missing? Along came this blog and brought our joy back, our hope back, and started our journey (!!) of education with limb difference. Jordan is currently changing the world one glitter gun prosthetic at a time! It’s amazing to watch. It’s through this blog that we discovered the next one…

 

Living One Handed

Ryan Haack and his wonderful sense of humour, perspective on life, positive attitude and “how to” videos were foundation building when it came to our feelings and attitude towards our son’s limb difference. It created a solid ground for us to stand on and learn how to deal with the more negative opinions and doubts around us. We’re very grateful for this. It’s through watching his how to videos that we learnt to stop worrying about the ‘how’ because the answer will always be ‘He will’ so why worry about how each task will look? It was liberating and has really helped us enjoy my right hand man for all of him. Ryan’s book is also AMAZING! Please buy it if you haven’t already.

 

Reach

A brilliant upper limb difference charity in the UK, which offers great support and education. They hold regular regional meet ups so you can get to know others in your reasonably local areas who either have a limb difference themselves or are parents of a child with a limb difference. They work hard to educate the medical world about limb differences so then sonographers etc are aware of the support network out there and about limitless living!

 

Lucky Fin Project

To say this is an American version of Reach is an understatement, they are based in America but their impact and ability to connect people is global. Through the Lucky Fin Project we have found a global family, who celebrate and educate people about differences together. It’s an incredibly positive and supportive place, showcasing the power and wonder of social media in its finest. Warning, you will become obsessed with all things Nemo related, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all.

 

Though She Be But Little

Wonderful blog, written by a wonderful mother. It has been great to watch her grow in confidence, her blog is open and honest which is great as it shows you that you aren’t alone in your thoughts, fears, concerns and hopes. Through this blog I realised the importance of making my right hand man’s clothes entirely his own and taking the time to learn how to alter his sleeves has honestly been a game changer. He’s happier in his clothes as they aren’t unraveling all the time and I’ve learnt a new skill.


Other amazing blogs and sites which I think you need to keep an eye on because they are great:

Disability is Ability

NubAbility

The Mighty

Toy Like Me

The Youngs (They talk more about their wonderful lives, but Daniel did a video about his experiences of living with one hand)

The Incredible Miss Kitty

On the One Hand

A PFFD Journey

This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it makes for a great start if you’re looking to learn and connect with others. I also want to say thank you to all the wonderful people on Instagram who share your stories and lives, since creating the My Right Hand Man account just over a year ago it’s been wonderful to see, everyday, the wonders of ability and to see the joy of living life without limits.

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