Friday, August 10, 2018

Some Do

Joe and I had checked out the ramp down to a floating bridge that connected one part of the harbour from another. At the top, after consideration, I felt that it was doable. It was steep but I had Joe for help. What I couldn't see was at the bottom, maybe three or four feet from the end, the steep slope tilted and became steeper. When we got there, I panicked. I felt out of control and I was terrified. 

Joe helped me turn the chair around to go down backwards, something made difficult by the steep slope we were on and by the narrow ramp. I lost control of my breath. I was truly and deeply frightened. It didn't help that when turning I saw that people were waiting to go both up and down the ramp and we impeded access both ways. So they took the opportunity to watch as we struggled. 

I felt on display.

I get that people do that. 

I get that it isn't always hostile.

But I wish they'd get that, at that moment, their watching made it more difficult.

There's always one, isn't there?

A woman said to her family, "Let's turn and watch the seals, give this man some privacy." I couldn't see what she did because of the flurry of activity, the beating of my heart and the adrenaline pumping through my veins. But I did see, when I turned, a whole family. A mom, some children, a dad, and two elderly grandparents, all turned away from me. All giving me the moment I needed.

Those are the people I choose to remember. Even though I understand that very few people would get what I needed in that moment, I need to notice that some do.

Some do.

And that gives me more comfort than you can possibly imagine.

4 comments:

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

Steeper at the end is really mean of the people who made the ramp.

They assumed also that you would have asked for help if you needed it, another gift.

Model for the rest of us.

Connie said...

Does the last part of the ramp adjust with the tide, and you happened to pick a time when the tide was out?

Dave Hingsburger said...

No it's built into the ramp. I would have anticipated the other. This came as a surprise.

clairesmum said...

that ramp design sounds tricky for any biped who is not paying attention, or pushing a baby stroller, or carrying a large box and cannot see their feet on the ramp, etc. It sounds like a problem that needs to be fixed, for everyone's safety.