Sunday, October 05, 2014

OMG (literally)


Miraculous Luck!

We stopped at Destination USA, a huge mall in Syracuse, to break up the trip and catch a movie. We've not done this before but, as we get older, we are trying to be a little kinder to ourselves. Joe pulled the van over, I was riding in the front passenger seat, sitting in my manual chair so we had to move that chair out and on to the sidewalk while I got into the power chair. Then, when everything was moved and out of the way, I brought the power chair down and, as it was raining, at Joe's request I zipped into the store. We agreed to meet at the main entrance.

A few minutes later Joe had parked the vehicle and, without knowing it, we were already being embraced by a miraculous occasion of great good fortune. We wandered around, found the theatre, picked a movie and spent a relaxing couple of hours in the theatre. We saw 'Gone Girl' ... a movie that didn't really capture our attention but even so, we enjoyed the break. We found something to eat and then we went our separate ways. Joe went out the door nearest the car and I went back to the entrance where he'd be picking me up.

I couldn't get out the door because someone had left a wheelchair in the lobby between the outer door and the inner door. The chair looked very much like my own and I was impressed that they had a chair that was a little bigger than normal, most mall chairs are quite small. I rolled over so I could watch for Joe to arrive and from that angle I could see, without question, that the chair between the doors, was mine.

It took only a second to figure out that Joe had left it outside, forgetting to put it back into the van when he set me down several hours (SEVERAL HOURS) earlier. Yet someone had brought it in out of the rain and left it there where anyone who needed a chair for use could take it. IT WAS STILL THERE.

We've had my chair stolen before, managing to get it back only by a quick act of policing so we are very careful with the chair. But today it got left behind and it didn't disappear.

Joe was sick when he realized his mistake.

I was so overwhelmed by relief that I couldn't do anything other than be hugely grateful.

I don't know what we'd have done if the chair had disappeared.

I really don't know.

But it didn't.

And I am profoundly grateful.

To Luck.

To Miracles.

To Whomever Watched Over Us Today (YOU know who YOU are).


Anonymous said...

A friend of mine left a nice camera on a table in a coffee shop once. (I had gone to the washroom then met her outside.) She didn't realize the mistake for almost an hour. She was horror stricken as she ran back. To her relief it was there. The two coffee cups and napkins were there too. We supposed that someone thought that folks were still around. Doesn't say much for the upkeep of the coffee shop - leaving stuff out that long - but thank goodness. I think thankfulness is the best attitude to have. So glad it worked out. I also had a chuckle because once I saw a woman sitting across from me wearing the same jacket. I was so engrossed with studying the details of the jacket without staring too much that I didn't see it was a mirror. So it made me smile when you admired the chair - and found out it was yours. Whew!!!

Tam said...

So glad your chair was not lost. It restores faith in human nature to hear stories like this.

Mary said...

I find it interesting that you'd more readily ascribe this to a higher power, than to humanity and the people involved.

If a person or persons unknown had stolen your unattended chair, or tampered with it, or left something unpleasant on the seat, I feel certain (please do correct me if I'm wrong) that the corresponding blog post would have been about the awfulness of people and the hostility of the society in which disabled people move. Divine power would not have come into it.

Instead, some entirely decent person or persons unknown saw an unattended wheelchair out in the rain and, apparently without fuss or expecting thanks, went a little bit out of their way and brought it safely in to the nearest building. Why is this post not about their thoughtfulness? Why are their efforts not worthy of public thanks? Why take the credit for their actions away from them and attribute it to a deity instead?

Then dozens, maybe hundreds of people walked on past the chair, leaving it alone, probably not even thinking about it. No one took it for fun, no one took it for need, no one treated it as a toy, no one treated it as a target. If they paid attention to it at all they assumed someone else needed it. Why is this post not about the acceptance and respect those people demonstrated?

And - lest you think I'm having a go at you - why are you ignoring your own not inconsiderable role for the last few decades in bringing about this nicer, more accepting society? You educate, you inform, you exist in the world, you also make a career of giving other people the tools to go forth and educate, inform and exist, dragging acceptance inch by inch into the mainstream. I'm certainly not saying you do it alone and if you want to attribute some of it to your God then go right ahead.

But please, please, since you speak up when people behave in ways that are hurtful or thoughtless, don't play down, ignore, or mis-attribute it when people act thoughtfully and for the good of others.

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

Most people are good, or at least not actively destructive.

The fact that your chair sat for several hours without ONE of the bad, nasty, or hurtful ones coming by to do their mischief, that IS a miracle. So it is correct, in my opinion, to credit it that way.

People shouldn't be praised for doing the right thing - because that is what all of us should be doing all the time. I'd STILL be grateful for whoever brought it out of the rain - that was a step above.