Are you the star, or is someone else stealing your thunder?
I know I've had many who have entered and exited my life, and likewise many lives I have entered and exited from, for whatever reason.
Sometimes I've had the lead role in an act in my life, sometimes, I've just been part of the ensemble cast, but always I've learned from the experience.
Mostly, my children have had the starring role in my life. Most of what I've done, and most of the decisions I've made, have been for their welfare, be it short or long term. I don't think they're even aware of this, as most of us are not. We take for granted the decisions our parents make, and the sacrifices they've made for us, until we are much older and wiser ourselves.
I've always believed that most of us do not 'grow up' until we're about 40 years old. It is not until we've seen a bit of life and a little more of the world, that we understand how complex life can be, and how seemingly small decisions, can have repercussions in our lives for many years.
I think back to when my disabled son was just 12 years old, and my husband and I were discussing his future. The pie in the sky notion that he would live independently seemed crazy at the time. However we knew that this was perhaps one of the most important decisions we would ever make, as the success or failure of this idea would impact on not just our immediate family, but the lives or those who know and love us, and our son.
Independent living would mean an equal life for him, fostering a more natural relationship with his siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins.
The reverse would spell out a life of uncertainty. One where we would worry about his fate when we departed this Earthly life, and where our immediate and extended family would perhaps assume the role of his primary carers.
The players in this act of our lives, were us and the Australian Government, and let me tell you, there were some dramatic scenes, some scenes full of heartbreak and tears, and some uplifting, joyous ones. Some scenes from this part of our life, ended up on the cutting room floor as they were simply not worthy of inclusion in our collective memory.
Thank goodness for the introduction of the new Australian Disability Care Scheme. This programme, contrary to what many think, was always going to become part of the fabric of life for the disabled here, and it was just a matter of which government would be in power when it finally came to fruition. We know this as we were in the fortunate position of securing a sort of pilot package for our son, in order to facilitate his independent lifestyle. This was hard won over many long years, with many tears and tantrums involved.
From now on, tears and tantrums will no longer be necessary. Thousands of families and service providers have lobbyed long and hard, and now the future for the disabled and their loved ones, is assured.
Pat yourself on the back Australia. It's been a long time coming.
Thanks to the introduction of the long awaited Disability Care Scheme, this story has a happy ending, with all players embracing and declaring their undying devotion.