'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.