From the Author
Beverly Beckham, the Boston Globe columnist who writes so eloquently about Matthias, shares that he had seven able-bodied, physically normal brothers - and points out that none of them have work memorialized in museums, none lived the celebrated life that their youngest brother Matthias did.
Learning about this gentleman made me wonder: can we say that he led this remarkable life because of his so-called handicaps?
I wondered about that because five years ago I developed a chronic illness that causes pain and scarring in affected tendons - I've been without full use of my hands and forearms since February 2014.
I wrote this book entirely by voice, using speech recognition software.
This illness, tendinosis, has frankly been a real bitch to live with. I spent eight months with legs that could carry me only a few steps; a grueling eighteen months' rehab brought them back online. When my thumbs stopped working in February 2014, I relied on my husband and two sons for nearly everything - seriously, I could barely hold a fork.
(Please note - I am SO grateful for all that I can do, and cannot even imagine going through life without hands or feet; I understand this comparison can only be carried so far. I'm incredibly fortunate for all that I have.)
But while I was so physically incapable, I had lots of time to think; I used my heart, my mind, and my voice to start We Turned Out Okay, a podcast that helps parents of young children worry less and enjoy more. Helping these parents with my voice gave my life purpose when I really had just about given up.
Working with young children is my area of expertise and my passion; my master's degree is in Early Childhood Education and before I was a mom I spent nearly a decade working in a public preschool program.
But, like so many able-bodied people caught up in the daily ups and downs of everyday life, I hadn't used my degree in years (other than to raise my own boys). It was only when I could no longer perform the daily tasks that every able-bodied person performs that I had the time to really consider: what is my life for, what is my purpose? How can I contribute positively in these circumstances?
The answer is before you.
Learning about Matthias Buchinger, I keep wondering, did he pose these same questions? Did he look around, take stock of his life, appreciate the wonderful people in it, and then ask - what can I do?
I think maybe he did.