Well, that's all over.
Because of a huge protest here in the center of the city, we left the car behind when we went to the lawyers. I was hesitant to go so far in the power chair but Joe was absolutely sure that Henry was up to the task. We had spent some time redrafting our wills and knew it was time to get them up to date. Further, we've been investigating what to do with our earthly remains - and have settled on a columbarium (a word we did not know until a few days ago) ... all that remained was the signing of the will.
I was a little unnerved on the way over to the lawyer. I hesitate to admit why. But, in an effort to HONESTLY document life as a disabled guy ... here goes nothing. Joe used to work for this guy many years ago. As one of the first male legal secretaries in the city, he would answer the phone in lovely rounded tones, 'Law Office'. Here I was Joe's partner, not the other way around. That was OK, of course, but as I've always been a big guy - I always felt that they were disapproving of Joe wasting his time with me.
Over time as my career emerged and my work was recognized that changed somewhat. Even so the sour taste of 'not good enough' and 'not hot enough' remains in my mouth. Now I was going over to see the lawyer, who I haven't seen in 15 years, as a fat DISABLED guy. I asked Joe, somewhat nervously, 'Does he know I'm in a wheelchair now?'
Disability pride goes only so far - there is still the interpersonal realities of human nature and human judgements. I didn't want this guy to think that Joe had really backed the wrong horse. So since I couldn't look hot, I thought I'd try to stay above clutz and dolt (on some days a real challenge) and just get through it.
Turns out that it was a very pleasant interaction, he wasn't phased by the chair and we ended up having a lively conversation about - ethics. It was kind of fun, we were all relaxed. Turns out, I guess, we're all older and maybe just a little less shallow than we were when we were boys. I mentally castigated myself for my silliness on my way over.
But it still reminded me how much I need Joe to still be proud of me.
After nearly 40 years, I guess that's kind of cool.
All that, and the will is signed, Henry made it there and back ... and we're off to a week long series of lectures in California.
Life goes on ...