Mom With Multiple Sclerosis Shuts Down Nasty Stranger Who Accused Her of Not Needing a Disabled Parking Space (PHOTO)

handicap parkingIt's so easy to make a snap judgment, isn't it? A spiteful note greeted a mom with multiple sclerosis when she and her daughter returned to her car, parked in a handicapped-accessible spot. And that mom turned her hurt into an opportunity to make a difference in the world.

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Justine Van Den Borne, a 41-year-old mom who lives in Melbourne, Australia, received a diagnosis of MS when she was only 35, she says on her Facebook. "Not just MS but the worst one that never goes away and is slowly crippling my life."

Justine shares that she was out with her daughter, having "a good day" because she was able to walk unaided. And then she found this:

To person that left this on my car last week at Mitcham Shopping Centre- I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I...

Posted by Justine Van Den Borne on Monday, November 9, 2015

"Did you forget your wheelchair???" the note reads.

First of all, is there anything more passive aggressive than multiple question marks???

"Thank you for ruining" a great day, Justine writes in an open letter to the self-appointed Judge of Who Needs a Disabed-Person Parking Spot.

"You made me feel like people were looking at me, the exact way I feel when I can't walk properly," she says. "I am sick of people like yourself abusing me on my good days for using a facility I am entitled to. A disability doesn't always mean a person has to be wheelchair bound but lucky for you I one day will be."

Justine's post is going viral, and while it's horrible that she had to experience this, she's done a great thing. We all can use a wake-up call about what it's like to go through life with a disability that might not always be immediately obvious.

Yes, when non-handicapped people take up handicapped parking spaces, it totally sucks. A college friend of mine suffers from a similar disease, and it's unbelievable how often someone parks in such a way that she can't get herself out of her handicapped-accessible van. I get it, I really do.

But honestly -- what good is a note like this going to do? In what way is it making the world a better place? It is awful when a perfectly able-bodied person takes up a disabled person's space ... but would a note really change anything? Probably not.

What does change things, though, is everyone taking a minute to think before jumping to conclusions. To give the benefit of the doubt, and to act out of kindness, not holier-than-thou judgment.

"My kids have had to deal with things that kids shouldn't ever have to deal with and all of our futures are forever changed," writes Justine. "Right now my focus is to walk into my best friend's wedding next September and not have to be pushed. I will be 42."

Oh man. My heart goes out to this brave and beautiful mom. You just never know what somebody else might be going through, right?

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Justine's final thought really drives her message home. "Before you ruin another person's day, remember you don't know everything..." she says. "Just because you can't see it, it doesn't mean a person isn't struggling to put one foot in front of the other."

 

Image via © Steven Raniszewski/Design Pics/Corbis

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