About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

An Invisible Disability

   Here’s one of the problems with my medical condition -- most people don’t know I have one.  On the outside, I look okay.  There’s nothing visibly wrong with me.  There’s no walking stick, no walker, and no wheelchair.  There’s no cane, no crutch, and no cast.  Thankfully. 

   Which means that most people look at me and assume I can walk across the street at a rather quick pace.  Sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t.

   A few months ago, my husband and I were crossing the street to our local Coffee Bean.  It wasn’t one of my better days.  I could have stayed home and waited for him to bring home our beverages.  Instead, I pushed myself to walk a little bit.  Part of our walk requires us to use a marked crosswalk to walk across a major street.  That section has a very slight incline.  For most people, it’s not a problem.  For me, on this particular day, that slight incline felt like a steep incline. 

   I did my best to walk, and the traffic light was still green, but I certainly was struggling to make it across.  We were walking which meant cars were waiting to make a right-hand turn.  The driver of the first car waiting to turn looked right at me and muttered, “Come on, come on, come on.” 

   I tried to laugh it off; teasing my husband that perhaps she was really in a rush to get home and use the restroom.  Or maybe she was hurrying to the hospital down the street to witness the birth of her first grandchild.  I don’t know the circumstances involved in her bad mood.  And I’m fairly certain that I’ve thought more about her and that one instance than she’s thought about me.

   But here’s the lesson I would hope to pass on to all my readers:  Please, exercise patience when interacting with those around you.  Don’t be so quick to judge someone who displays a disabled placard from their rearview mirror and don’t criticize the person who is slowly crossing the street for no apparent reason.  There are reasons, we just don’t know them all.  I’m not the only one with an “invisible disability.”

   Truthfully, I didn’t learn this lesson until it directly affected me, until I became one of the “disabled.”  (And I use the quotation marks because still, the word doesn’t seem like the correct word for me.)  So while you may not see it, know that I, and others like me, do our best to persevere through the pain.  And, sometimes it’s at a slow and steady pace.


  1. It is sad that so many people are inconsiderate and rude and say things without even thinking first.You can't always tell by looking at someone if they have a medical condition.I am sorry you had to have dealt with that and it kills me that you were given this medical condition to begin with.If I could take away your pain I would do it in a minute.I love you and I am very proud of you.

  2. It is amazing how people are so ignorant. I look forward to reading your blog each week. You are a beautiful young woman who does not deserve to be in so much pain. Your mother & I are proud of you.
    love, dad

  3. Honey,
    I am so sorry that you have to deal with the unpredictability of this pain. I know how hard you work to push through it everyday. You are an incredibly strong and courageous woman. I Love You!