Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bright Red Walker

She was having a bit of a difficult time. Her walker, a bright red one, was brand new, and she kept bumping into things as she tried to get around. She took it in all good spirits and, in fact, was singing quietly along to the 'I'm Just a Teenager in Love' era of music playing in the breakfast hall. I was sitting just inside the door waiting for room to get in.
Two women were waiting for toast and watching the older woman, with her new walker, as she got around. They noticed her happy demeanour and her her quietly singing along with the music as she gathered her breakfast. In an almost angry voice, one said, "I sure don't know what she's got to be happy about?" Her friend responded, in full out anger, "And she sure has nothing to sing about."

They were angry.

Their response to seeing a woman, happily going about her day, happily getting used to a walker, was anger. Think about it. Anger.

Were they angry because she was upsetting their stereotype that she should be all depressed and ready to call for the euthanasia bus because she needed to use a mobility devise?

Were they angry because she dared to be happy, to sing, to have chosen a bright red walker, when disability needs to be approached with somber tones, dark furrowed brows and DNRs?

Think about it again. They were angry.

What the hell in that picture is there to be angry about. She never bumped them with her walker and her inexperience. She took up a little more space because of that inexperience but there was space to be had. I was waiting, not because of her, but because others don't know how to handle space when someone in it uses a mobility devise.

Finally, I got in, I rolled by her, stopped and said, "Love that colour of red." She smiled broadly, it was a smile that looked like it had been given a million times in a million different circumstances throughout her life. "It's jaunty, isn't it?" she said. I laughed and said, "Very."

She's lived a happy life. It came so easily to her to simply continue to be happy, even on wheels.

The others seeing me and her chatting and laughing, it must have been too much because they simply grabbed their toast and fled to their table.

I'd rather, any day of the week, have a little song, and a big smile be part of my breakfast rather than sit down into anger to begin my day.

They were angry!!



Frank_V said...

Wow, talk about miserable people.

And may you have a jaunty day Dave!

Unknown said...

I can remember my grandmother who would sometimes tell one of us kids "i think you got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, why don't you go lay down for a few minutes and then get up again' when one of us arrived at breakfast with a sour face. I still find myself thinking that when I encounter one of these negative people...makes me smile, reminds me not to be that way, and helps me think of the person as 'having a bad day' instead of 'being a bad person.' At least, it works when I am not too caught up in myself!!

I think the bright red walker is a cool idea...just like your bright yellow shirt.....I'm here and I'm bright and shiny and I'm living my life right here and right now....think I'll wear my red shirt to work today.

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

I don't inflict my black moods on other people. Fortunately, they're not too frequent. I know they're mine to deal with, and I work at it until they go away.

The great gift of having learned CBT means that I rarely stay down for long - I have self-respect, and that tells me I need to make it possible for other people to live with ME.

Those women had no excuse. I wonder how they'll handle it when one of them needs a walker.

Sherry-Lynn K said...

How sad for those two women that they choose to look for the bad in someone elses situation, someone who obviously has looked for and found the good. The choose to see the negatives (which are more in their own minds than in the reality of the situation) instead of the positives... I feel for them; hopefully one day they will learn to be happy.