The Voice of Ability Series

Hanaka 3 - Seeing ability in the blind

Voice of Ability
By Vicki Hanaka
Editor’s note: This is the final segment in a brief series by Vicki.
I previously mentioned my older brother Eddie. After my father died in 2001, I became Eddie’s guardian until his death in May of last year. As his guardian, Eddie and I grew very close. Though there were some gut-wrenching times – such as deciding to tube feed, signing a DNR and choosing a hospice – the experience was very rewarding, and it gave me a real sense of purpose. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
A couple of years ago, while I was still Eddie’s guardian, Steve Bauer asked me if I would be on the Ministry with Persons with Disabilities Advisory Council. My consent meant the opening of yet another door! I’ve gotten to know some really wonderful people on and through the council.
The most exciting part was making friends with Myra Jacobs, who came on the council when I did. Many of my older friends had gone on to eternal life, and I had not expected to make such a good friend this late in my life. It’s been fun discovering things we have in common, from the trivial, such as a love of sweet tea and Star Trek, to the sublime, a love of theology and philosophy.
Within the past year or so, Myra got the idea to form a sort of Christian rock group or band called Faithful Flock, for which I am a volunteer song leader. It’s made up of people with special needs who like to sing. We are accompanied by volunteer guitarists and a bass player. We most recently warmed up the crowd for both nights of the talent show at Holy Family Camp. The whole thing is a lot of fun.
But there is even a newer relationship than my friendship with Myra. When my daughter Christi and her husband Brian were blessed with a baby girl last October, I attained grandmotherhood.Oh, wow!
My granddaughter’s name is Raimi Jane, and words can’t do her justice. Though she has Down Syndrome, it doesn’t seem to be too severe. It might slow her down a little, but nothing will stop her.
She is sitting up, getting on hands and knees, about ready to crawl, and she can babble with the best of them. In short, she is a happy, healthy 11-month old. Though all in her family will do what we can to make the world a better place for her, she makes the world better by her presence.
Hanaka is a member of All Saints Parish in Wichita.

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