I apologize for leaving you hanging. I intended on writing a blog yesterday, but the day got away from me, time flew by, and suddenly, without notice, I woke this morning realizing that I'd not finished the story of getting home.
We went out to the MV1, I'd slept poorly because I was so worried about how I'd get in. The ramp couldn't be trusted, but could my legs, could my arms? I'd tried doing a few stairs to get up into a pub in the hotel in Fredericton and managed with great difficulty. I did get into the pub only to find a bartender with a quizzical look. Why hadn't we used the accessible entrance? Because we wanted a nice pub experience I didn't point out lack of any signage that indicated that there was a flat entrance into the place. I didn't even tell Joe about my restraint, sometimes I like to be gracious in silence. Those stairs, though, told me, that I'm really, really, not good with stairs any more. And yet, I had to get into the vehicle or we simply weren't going home.
We looked along the curb to find exactly where it was deepest, the spot that would shave off a millimeter or two of height from the step. That done, I sat in my chair and considered the step. In doing so, I remembered.
I worked, many years ago as a young consultant, with a little girl of about seven years age. She had an intellectual disability and struggled with valour and with determination to learn the skills she wanted to learn. She had been a joy to work with because her motivation was so high. When I asked her mother how she had instilled such a passionate determination to succeed in her child, she said, "Well, it wasn't me, it was my husband." She then went on to tell me that her husband had gone though some dark times and suffered some severe trauma, he found that the only thing that could beat back the sense of hopelessness which constantly threatened to overwhelm him was by developing an inner cheering squad. He found some phrases and some positive self statements that he would use in rough times.
When their child was diagnosed with an intellectual disability, she said, she fell apart. Her husband had been her rock and she said that, even with all that had happened to him, all the hopes he'd placed on this child, he loved her at birth and nothing or no one would change that. He started early teaching his daughter how to think about herself, how to think about her struggles, how to think about the life that she was given to live. He and she would practice thought patterns that were aimed and 'beating back the darkness' and 'increasing the ability to see light.'
I did meet the father at one of the family meetings near the end of my involvement with the family. He was an amazing guy. I told him so.
Anyways, I thought about the little girl, as I sat there looking at the step. I knew that my last attempt was a success that rested on the head of failure. I decided that I'd channel her positivism and her sheer will to do what needed to be done.
And I got in.
It was almost as if she took one arm, her dad the other, and assisted me up and into the van.