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Friday, February 6, 2009

Session 10: Dare- Lena Maria Klingvall

Born without arms, and with one (and a half) legs, she was the first child of her parents. They were told she could be institutionalized. This was Switzerland in 1968. Three days later her parents were able to meet her and her mother found out that no one told her how beautiful a baby Lena was. They kept her, and had another child. Lena's brother had no handicaps "that's what they think," she said with a smile. Being a little brother can be a handicap. Everyone has them, most are not obvious.

She was a championship swimmer in the para-Olympics. Her swimming style looks like peristalsis. (I was really wondering how that works, but when you see it, it makes more sense.)

The list of things she can do is long: sing, use chopsticks, sew, and... calligraphy. She wrote a note in calligraphy with her foot. "Hello everyone!" Then she wrote another with the pen in her mouth, as perfect and beautiful a scrawl. "Beat that!"

One of the hardest things was getting dressed. She needs a stick as a tool. One day she was in a jam and needed to use a hanger and learned that she could improvise almost anything.

Adapting to a society that doesn't adapt to you makes you grow.

There's one thing left she wants to do: be a truck driver.

What has made everything possible? Love. Isn't anything difficult? Lots of things are, but no more so than anyone else. Being different has put her in a different category than anyone else so in some ways it has made her blessed.

1 comment:

  1. A little more on Lena Maria: