We needed help with something here where we live so we called Marissa to see if she'd come over to give us a hand. She arrived with the girls in tow and she and Joe set about doing what needed to be done. We would not have needed help if I wasn't a wheelchair user, but I am. This used to bother me. Not any more. People need help all the time. I need it much less than people think I do and sometimes much more than I'd rather. I wonder if we all have complicated relationships with being helped, probably so.
While they were doing that the girls and I went out to play basketball. We live on a circle, a little roundabout, with a basketball hoop set up at the edge of the circle. So we went out and tossed the ball around a bit. Then we set about shooting for a basket. We play a game. You shoot until you get a basket and then you count the number of baskets you get in a row. The one with the highest number of baskets is the winner. I never win, but I'm not always last. Since I was horrible at the sport in the school, I feel great victory when I score.
Another thing I do is time the girls, one at a time, running around the circle while dribbling the ball. Sadie didn't feel like doing that this time. Ruby did it in 17 seconds.This time for the first time, I wanted to try, sans dribbling of course, and it took me 50 seconds. I pushed hard and some of it was downhill.
After a while Joe and Marissa came out to join and I asked if someone would walk with me as I pushed over to the sidewalk and then up to the lights and then back along the running path to the entrance to where we live. I am planning a very long push in a couple of weeks and I wanted to see how I managed on the terrain. The uphill was a bit of a struggle, one that I was left alone to have, but I made it.
Why am I telling you this?
When I was first disabled and we had to call for help because I wasn't able to assist Joe with something, I went dark. Very dark. I felt useless. I felt unnecessary. I felt the weak link in the relationship. I hated it. Sometimes, depending on what the help needed was, it could affect me for days. I found it hard to make peace with interdependency even though I preached it in the lectures I gave. I wasted so much time.
Yesterday we needed help. We asked for it. While it was happening I played basketball. We were laughing, urging each other on, and competing hard to win.
I didn't come close to winning.
I came last.
But, this time, in life, I came first.