A few moments from my day yesterday.
I arrived at work to find two boxes of Exceptional Family magazine on my desk. I was excited to have it because the first of an 8 part series co-written by myself and various members of the 'Personal Development Committee' at Vita was in this issue. The 'Personal Development Committee' is made up of staff members who, along with their regular jobs within the agency, provide training of topics of vital importance to members with intellectual disabilities. Self Esteem is the first topic and it was written with two young staff who run the classes. I had the great pleasure of giving one of those staff a copy of the magazine and watch him see his name in print for the first time. I didn't know a face could grin so broadly.
We went over to our grocery store and found that the wheelchair aisle was wide open and waiting for us. As I went through one of the tellers called to me that it's been open every moment since I registered my second complaint regarding the need for it to be available. She finished checking out someone and as there was no one else in line she came over and told me that she has decided that she would make it her personal cause to remind the managers to keep the lane open for all to use. I thanked her and she grinned as wide as she could grin. I liked that she got it and that she wanted to be part of the solution.
After picking up some groceries for supper and on the way out I was just starting to make my way down the ramp from the mall to the sidewalk. At exactly the same time a fellow in a manual wheelchair being pushed by another guy, started up the ramp. We saw each other at the same time. He waved for me to come down and they backed up. As I passed them the wheelchair user, a man maybe ten years my senior, said, 'We're always in the way aren't we?' I came to a halt and we talked about the 'in the wayness' we experience as people with disabilities. We didn't know each other, had never seen each other before, probably live very different lives - but still we had a connection that only he and I, at that moment, understood. It's awesome to have those times of connection wherein someone else just 'gets it'. I knew he liked it too because, you guessed it, he grinned at the short interchange and waved me a friendly goodbye.
I came home and read the comments on the blog yesterday. Whoa! I didn't expect such a response! I was pleased at the discussion, for the most part, and loved the support from all of you. I felt myself, grin. For that I thank you all.