Meg Casey
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"Most Able Disabled"

Meg Casey's handicapped issues column

Over at Jesus’ house

Meg Casey
December 29, 1982

Dear Reader,

During the Christmas season we are reminded of the joy found in the birth of a child and of the comfort found in the love of our families.

Those of us who know this wonderful feeling grasp it in our hands and hold its warmth against our hearts. When we lose a loved one to the arms of death is hard to bear. When that person is a child it is easily found unacceptable, especially so in this holiday time. With the beginning of life so acutely in my consciousness, the stark reality of it and think least me numb.

It is known that I have a rare condition known as progeria. This past June, during the week of the 19 to the 25, a “Gathering” took place at a lodge in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania where eight out of the 10 people with progeria invited came to meet one another. Some brought their entire families along. The ages of the special little people ranged from 2 to 26.

This wonderful week was sponsored entirely by the Sunshine Foundation of Philadelphia.

One of the children I met there was a young lady of 14 whose name was Tami Sawyer. Tammy was accompanied by her parents and two little sisters. The love in this family radiated from Tammy eyes. Never before had I seen such a gentleness as that which I had met in the spirit of this girl.

I was doubly impressed with Tami’s being because as much as I seem to have escape the painful symptoms sometimes found in progeria,Tami seemed to have experienced most of them. In essence, she could have been my flip side.

This fall Tami passed away. A typical“ statistic for the medical chartings, but she was an outstanding example for all humanity.

It is in honor of Tami that I would dedicate this week’s column and share with you a letter from her family that they sent to me in a Christmas card. There is a lesson about life from which we can all benefit.

 

Dearest Meg,

Just want you to know I think of you often, and appreciate your friendship. We also pray for you and your family as you carry on your daily tasks, and that you feel God's presence with you from day to day, no matter the circumstances.

Thank you so much for your letter, Meg, and the shirt you gave Tami. I'm so glad you sent it; this will be a real keepsake. So will her necklace you gave her at the Poconos. We really feel fortunate in getting to meet you and your family. Tami enjoyed it so much. I hope we can I hope we can continue to keep in contact with you even though Tami is gone. She really isn't far away as a 3-year-old says, she's “just over at Jesus’ house.” Christmas won’t be the same this year at the Sawyer house, but knowing she is in Heaven, pain, and a new body comment what's is the pain we have in our hearts.

We have had a lot of new adjustments without her and some days it's almost unbearable, but we found that God’s grace is sufficient for us! We really feel honored to able to be her parents, God must have had faith and trust in us.

Tami went to school up until the last day she loved to go to school and was doing real well with her work. We were overwhelmed when nearly 500 people came to her funeral. She has been an inspiration to a lot of people, just like you have been to us. Continue to keep your positive outlook on life. Tami started to wear make-up after she had been with you. She had a lot of fun putting it on.

I hope we can see you again sometime. Feel free to come out and see us anytime. We would love it! You would love Nebraska too!

We wish you the best in the year to come!

Love ya,
Karen

Do you want to know what I think was the secret to Tami's strength? She was loved and she KNEW it. The secret to her family's strength will be in that; she was loved and THEY knew it.

The one major point made clear to us at the Pocono gathering was that a handicapping condition does not just happen to the individual, it affects every member of the family and other loved ones in some way. The attitudes of the family unit play s vital role in how life is dealt with by all concerned.

So take care of each other and have a happy New Year!


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© 2015 to 2017 site design by Daniel Ortoleva
photographs and other content courtesy of the Casey family unless noted
blog posts and art by Meg Casey
originally published 1982 to 1985 in the Milford Citizen newspaper
Memorable Milford regrets that a political dispute has made it necessary to complete this project without the cooperation of a claimant to the original columns
The original author disdained those only seeking to profit from tragedies.
We did not feel that a disagreement should prevent the public from learning and enjoying these incredible pieces of advice and show they are still relevant to today.