Wednesday, June 15, 2011


'I'll bet you thought he'd abandoned you.'

I was telling a story about being on the ferry over to the Island. We had gone up to go outside but I felt that the lip between inside and outside was simply to risky for me and the chair. Instead, Joe came down with me and I pointed that I was going to go to the Sitka coffee shop on board, pull up to a table and read, or gaze out the window, or both. We'd meet there later. Joe took the elevator back up, I rolled along the hallway to the table.

At the table, I reached over, picked up a chair and moved it over. I noticed the glances. The forever interest in how disabled people move into spaces made for others, is ever present. Chair moved, I move in, put on brakes, reach back behind me unhook the bag and pull it up and on to the table. I rummage in it and get my book. I think the eyes were disappointed that someone so different pulled out something so pedestrian as a book. So, show over, their eyes found other things to look at - though few chose one of the world's most spectacular views.

I alternated between reading a book that begins with pimps, prostitutes and rent boys in 70's London, and looking out at the ocean. That contrast was too much for even me, so I set the book down and simply enjoyed being on a boat and sailing over blue water. The time passed. The time passed. Joe's not back. This is odd. We always make a point of going back down to the car before others as it take time to get the chair into the car. Now they are making announcements to get off the boat. Still no Joe.

At this point in telling the story to my friend, she said, 'I'll bet you thought he'd abandoned you.' We both laughed. Then I had to say, in all honesty, 'No, I never thought that.'

Over the years as our relationship changed, as Joe had to add care providing into our way of relating to each other, I don't think, though I feared the loss of many things - I never fear the loss of him in my life. I'm very lucky. Very lucky. So I can laugh at the idea of loss because loss is simply absurd. Perhaps my positive attitude towards my disability, and this is a realization I'm writing and thinking for the first time ever, comes from his positive attitude towards my disability. Perhaps being around those who love 'you' not the physical you, not the financial you, not the social you, but 'you' is a powerfully positive experience.

So, by the time Joe showed up, as I knew he would, I'd figured he'd gotten disoriented on the boat. I'm the navigator in our relationship, and he'd lost his way. I guess it's poetic that I help him find his way, and he, most definitely helped me find mine.


Anonymous said...

There is so much I would like to say to this post. But I think that I will lack the words for it in a language that is not my native tounge.

Just one thing; you are incredibly lucky to be able to feel this way with/towards Joe and I guess the feeling is mutual. That relation gives you strength and kind of "models" who you are and how you can act in life.

Julia (from Germany)

Joyfulgirl said...

A beautiful post. Leaves me a little lost for words too!

Kris S. said...

Very sweet. You and Mr. Jobes are BOTH very lucky.

Manuela said...

Well you know how I feel about Joe. Waiting to see those legs and smiling face. I think you print these stories just to keep me in line. But I'm patient and just biding my time. LOL We miss you both, its time to come home!

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

You are lucky indeed!Both you and Joe.


Shan said...

I missed your call(s) last night...was out knitting!

I love Joe, I think he's just marvellous, and at his medal ceremony I will be waving a huge banner saying "THAT'S MY UNCLE!"

wendy said...

I love this post. It's an amazing thing to feel certain, confident, that you are safe in that way.

Noisyworld said...

Wow, to be loved and love like that sounds fantastic :)
May you guide each other onwards :)

Kate said...

That is so sweet!

Kristin said...

You and Joe have the type of relationship we should all aspire to. I truly love this story.

Emma said...

I wish I could find a relationship like the one you so clearly have with Joe. Loving, supportive and yet independent at all once. Beautiful to read about. Emma

Anonymous said...

Trust. Your post about trust in love (love= trust and lust) a few weeks ago is in my head all the time, and here's trust again.
Here's to trust.