We got on the boat from Nanaimo to Vancouver with our emergency flashers on and with a bright red wheelchair placard given us from the woman who took our payment and instructed us to put it on the dashboard. These things alerted the folks who load the boat that I use a wheelchair and to place us strategically so we would have maximum access. They have done this every time unerringly, frankly, they must hire people based on a Tetris aptitude test of some kind.
The fellow who spotted the lights came over and asked which side we needed room on and when we said, "Well, kinda both," he said, "No problem pull over here and I'll load some more on and then I'll tell you when to move ahead." The did as he promised and a few minutes later pointed to where we were to park. We were a couple feet back from the car in front of us but right beside a blue access symbol that lead to the elevator.
Joe got out of the car and found himself confronted by a woman in a car in the next lane. She was practically yelling at him to get back in the car and move it forward. Joe stated that we parked exactly where we were told to and that if he moved I wouldn't be able to get out my side and he couldn't get the chair out the other. She didn't care. She wanted the car moved and NOW! Joe stood his ground and she left shaking her head in disgust.
Normally it's me targeted with this kind of thing and while it wasn't nice for Joe to take the brunt of her upset, I was glad to be left out of it. He said, as I got in the chair, "You're the one with the blog, this isn't supposed to be about me." We laughed it off and headed for the elevator.
When we got there there was a family of four waiting. A mom, a dad and a boy and a girl both close to their teen years. I pulled in and sat back to wait, we were in no hurry, but then, the mother spoke up to her kids. "He," she said referring to me, "has the right of way here, we can all take the stairs." Then, they were gone. Just like that. Moments later the elevator arrived, empty and we made our journey up.
There's nothing so odd as people. We can never predict from whence will come the anger and from whom will come the kindness. It keeps us alert. Very.
But what's nice here is that that nasty woman yelling at Joe, she's going to be gone in a few months from our memory, she will just blend in amongst those who were and are similarly grouped tightly under the nastiness umbrella. But the other woman, will stay, I think I will remember her and her voice and her gentle urging of her family to move along and create space for us for a long, long time.
Beyond being kind.
What an inspired act of parenting.
And absolutely inspired act.