(CBS) – Michele Clarke parked legally in a handicap parking spot and then returned to her car to find a nasty note.
The author of the note didn’t think Clarke looked handicapped enough, CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reports.
“I open this note. I begin to read it, and tears were just rolling down my face,” Clarke said.
Michele Clarke’s blue handicap placard hangs from her mirror. It was there last week, when her daughter found a white piece of paper on the windshield in a Plainfield parking lot.
The note, in part, said: “You inconsiderate (expletive) parking in a handicap spot when you and your little daughter aren’t handicapped.”
“I shouldn’t be this afraid to use a handicapped placard,” Clarke said.
The note went on to say Clarke was setting a bad example for her child.
“People who are truly handicapped need these spots. Not you. You are setting a very poor example for your daughter,” the note stated.
Clarke’s daughter, Juliana, was upset about finding the obnoxious note.
“I was feeling very sad for her, and mad that someone would write that for her parking in handicap, when they don’t know what she has and what she goes through,” she said.
Clarke was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Her symptoms are not always visible. There are good days and bad ones for her. At first, she felt ashamed by the letter, but now Michele wants it to inspire.
“Don’t be afraid to use your handicap placard,” she says. “Do not be afraid; and to the ones that are out there judging: don’t judge. You have no idea what one went through, has been going through, will go through.”
Clarke said she was angry at first, but now she actually wants to thank the person who wrote the note for giving her the courage to speak out about MS.