When it comes to parenting, I try hard to keep a positive attitude, remember they're only young once, and all of that good stuff. But the minute I have someone's ear I find myself spewing a list of complaints, and oh-my-God-I-had-no-idea-this-would-be-this-hard rantings, because it is hard. But it could be so much harder, as mom Rose Siggins shows us.
Called a "miracle mother," Siggins has recently attracted the attention and awe of the Internet for what she has done nearly all of her life -- navigate the world without a lower body. According to the Huffington Post, the mother of two was born with sacral agenesis, a deformation to the spine (it would be called spina bifida today) that necessitated her legs to be amputated at the hips when she was 2. "It was like taking the legs off a Barbie doll," she told Closer magazine.
She didn't let that get in her way though; she just found a way to get around her limitations. She trained as a mechanic, and in 1997 fell in love with Dave Siggins, who worked at a car parts shop she frequented. Doctors told her a pregnancy would likely kill her, but she delivered two healthy children, who she raises with Dave (now her husband) in Pueblo, Colorado.
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And she has done it all with just half of a typical body. She described how she cared for her son when he was an infant to Closer:
Carrying Luke was hard, but I found ways around it. I put Luke in a bouncer and slid him around the floor at home. If we went out, I’d put him in a baby carrier on my back, climb downstairs, get on my skateboard to get to the car, buckle him into his car seat and drive off. I was happy when he learned to walk!”
She says her typical day today involves getting the kids -- Luke, 13, and Shelby, 6 -- ready for school, driving them there, grocery shopping, and most of the same things any typical mom's day does. Kind of makes your parenting complaints seem a little trite, right? I know it does for me as I think of the struggles this amazing woman has faced and continues to face every day but does so with courage and a smile on her face.
Lately, however, those struggles have become more intense, and Rose needs help.
For years, she's eschewed prosthetic legs, and gotten around on a skateboard. She says the kids like it, and she's always preferred the freedom it's given her. Unfortunately, the repetitive use of her hands and arms to push herself has resulted in arthritis and that along with some other health conditions have made it increasingly difficult for her to get around on a traditional board. She desperately wants to avoid life in a wheelchair, and other devices just don't meet her needs. So with her characteristic determination to make the best of a situation, she has launched an effort to get a new board designed to meet her needs. She's dubbed it her "Freedom Board," and she's started The Freedom Project fundraising effort to help cover the high cost of developing it.
On her Facebook page, she credits her mother, who is now deceased, with inspiring her determination.
She would always say, 'A lot of people with disabilities feel that life owes them something, just remember no one owes you a dime. The world doesn’t owe you anything, this is what you have and you use your resources and you get through it.'
She certainly has embraced that advice and inspired so many along the way. I hope she gets her new board and continues to do so.
Does Rose's story inspire you?
Image via Rose Siggins