You see Ben, I never got the option to “never go full retard” when Larkin was born. It wasn’t anywhere on the checklist that I received. Oh wait…I NEVER GOT A CHECKLIST. I am not an actor. I am not playing a part in a movie. I am real life. I am living a real story. I am raising a real little person with real life health issues that came with a diagnosis of mental retardation. You are an actor with a responsibility to accept what comes along with free speech. So quit hiding behind “We don’t mean to pick on those people”. Quit hiding behind press releases. Come look at the little girl, mother, father, brother, aunt, uncle, grand-mother, grand-father and the list grows – that you have hurt. Come take a look.
One year ago this week our doctors in St Louis gave us Larkin’s diagnosis of Lennox-Gastaut. My email from last year read this way:
“We are trying to – and – stay – strong but I have to admit…I am tired. I am pissed off. I am scared. However on the bright side now that my worst fear has been brought to the front, I no longer have to fear it. I have to deal with it. WE have to deal with it. I am sick inside but I know in time that will pass. She is a beautiful little girl who just can’t seem to catch a break. She doesn’t deserve any of this. I would go outside for a walk but it’s 101 here so it feels like hell inside and outside of this hospital. Instead I think Andy and I will sit here with our girl and try and kiss and hug away the pain.”
One year ago I remember feeling like I was going to pass out and throw up at the same time when Dr. Bertrand gave me the news. I did neither but did make the decision to start the drug Felbamate right away. The pictures below show the change and the journey toward health. The decision to begin a drug that we didn’t know, and still don’t, if it will kill her. THIS is why the movie Tropic Dunder makes me so angry. THIS is why if those actors, that want to pass themselves off as human beings, would spend some time with a family going through this…they would NEVER EVER make a movie that uses those with mental retardation as a joke. THEY WOULD KNOW OUR PAIN. THEY WOULD KNOW THAT THE WORD RETARD IS PAINFUL, OFFENSIVE and frankly they would maybe wake up to the fact that they are picking on those who can’t fight back.
You be the judge. You decide if you could stand in my shoes for a minute, look at my girl and know our pain and still feel that it is ok to use the word retard.