What an interesting journey this has been. And we haven't even left yet. Joe and I are masters at getting around North America and the United Kingdom. We've conquered language (does anyone in the North America know what an 'estate car' is? have you Brits ever heard of a 'station wagon'?) and usually arrive to get exaclty what we need. So we were pretty cocky when we agreed to a series of three lectures in Israel this June. We were excited to be asked and agreed readily, but now we are working on things like transportation - getting me from A to B with my chair.
I have learned a great deal from this experience of disability - patience and a willingness to go over and over and over things again. The folks in Israel are working very diligently to make this a good experience and we are emailing back and forth with questions and answers. I think we are near through the planning and soon we can just get on with the anticipation.
What's cool about this is the simple fact that I am going to Israel ... oh not to mention the World Congress on Down Syndrome in Dublin ... at all. I remember when the wheelchair rolled into my hospital room that I wondered if, in some way, my career was soon to be over. I wondered what the changes would mean. I wondered what I would mean.
Years later I'm working at Vita on what may be the most important project of my life. I'm still travelling across North America and, with Israel, will travel the farthest I have ever travelled to give a lecture. All while sitting down.
That wheelchair rolled into my room and I rolled into my future.
The one that was still there.