Saturday, January 09, 2010

The Request

'I'm just a little tired today, would you mind running over to the store to pick up a couple of things?'

What a wonderfully ordinary request. It's the kind of thing that couples say to each other all over the world. It's a conversation that involves expectation and reciprocity and equality and mutual need. A few words that wouldn't be noticed except in homes like ours.

'Of course I will.'

It was nice to be able to say 'yeah, of course' to reassure him to 'not worry about it, I'll do it' because I was entirely able to, for the briefest moment, carry the load for the two of us. When we got in, I saw Henry sitting there waiting for me. He's a powerful power wheelchair and he's got the capacity of carrying me, a dozen beer and a few groceries. Henry is the Mac Truck of wheelchairs.

'You sure you don't mind?'

Don't mind!?! After all that Joe has to do to keep me going. After all the little things that are physically out of my reach are completed each day, doing something for him is awesome. Even something small. Even something trivial. I felt like I had hooked my self esteem up to the tire pump at the garage - lifted.

'See you later.'

Off on a mission. I slipped first into the book store and picked up a book that Joe had read about recently, one he really wanted to read. Yeah, Christmas was over but a wee gift in January is kind of a nice experience. Then I decided to get some money. The closest Bank Machine charges a buck fifty per transaction, I drove all the way to the end of the mall to one from my bank and paid none. Then it was back to pick up the items on the list. I was enjoying the independence. Outside into the brisk cold and back home. Managed to get in the two front doors all by my self for the first time, rah me having a good day.

'Thanks, I just wasn't up to it.'

To whomever thought up, developed and made available the power wheelchair. God love you. To the Government of Ontario who helped me buy my wheelchair. I deeply thank you. Because today, was a pretty good day.


Angelslake said...

It's strangely quiet here in the UK. Snow is falling everywhere and we are all a little hypnotised by it, unused to the peace brought about because so few people can go anywhere! I was enjoying the enforced stillness and came to my daily checkin with you. What! No comments? Has the world gone to sleep under this blanket of snow?
Anyway, I'm sure it's not true! But I loved the affirmation that the simple ability to go somewhere when you want to is as thrilling as the chance to stay home after all!!!

Belinda said...

No, Angelslake, We're all here, but five hours behind you and it is Saturday, after all! :) I was not as brave as Dave when I went shopping last night. I was a weak, weather wimp! I've been hearing all about the weather in England from my brother, who said that the weather is bringing out the best in the Brits, who are always at their best when you throw something at them. He said every one is pitching in to help out and picking up people who fall over etc. Cool! I mean, COLD! :)

AkMom said...


Kristin said...

It sounds like a really wonderful day. Glad you have Henry there to give you a little more independence.

sandi said...

Your post warmed my heart. How wonderful to be able to give something so ordinary back to the one you love. You expressed it better, but I felt what you meant. It *is* wonderful, and ordinary and simple, yet that makes it all the more special.

Anonymous said...

Dave, what a treat for you and for Joe. Yesterday we had one of those milestones in my world. My partner had a stroke two year ago. It has greatly impacted his balance so driving has been challenging for him. He has slowly started driving himself here and there. We live 15 miles out on an ugly curvy road. Yesterday I asked him to drive me into town. For the first time in two years! He double checked to make sure he was doing it right and I felt safe. The feeling of nomalcy and companionship was so overwhelming for me. I quietly slipped into the bathroom when we got to our destination and did a happy dance.
These things feel amazing on the other side too!

Mary said...

I feel you! I have mitochondrial disease, and even though I have many disabled friends, made during my sixteen years as a social worker, the fatigue and muscle weakness still *feel* like laziness to me, despite my best efforts to not apply a cruel double standard to myself, etc...

The power to do a simple favor is greatly under-rated. :) And the scooter that gave me my mobility back? An Independence Day miracle!