We stopped for something to eat on our way from Halifax to Port Hawkesbury as we were just trying to extend the weekend feeling. It was just a little cafe but they had a couple of things we, as vegetarians, could eat. We sat down at a table near the window and watched as another couple got out of their car. At first we thought the husband was just gallant but then we noticed that his wife, wearing stylish dark sunglasses had a white cane folded up and hanging by a strap off her arm. She placed her had lightly on his arm and they made their way into the restaurant. They took a table a couple away from us as they didn't want to sit in the sun.
Joe and I placed our order and returned to our chat, which was really just gossip as we were catching up on a phone call Joe had made to a mutual friend. The waitress was magnificent she brought the couple both menus and spoke to both of them equally. Hubby took up his menu and began a chat with his wife. He didn't read the menu for her at all. Instead he talked about what he was going to have and seemingly puzzled over the choices.
"Hmmm, I'm not sure about the appetizers, I don't want one, do you?" She shook her head and then he continued by going through the menu like he was thinking out loud. "The burger looks good, but I'm not sure if I want that or, maybe the ribs, but look here, they have ..." And on he went touring the menu, talking about the items. She listened intently to the audio menu, smiling often at her husband's asides about the food.
When the waitress came they both ordered.
He helped her out in such a natural way, it was like they had figured out a way to deal with the world made for sighted people - as a couple. It was awesome to see them together and supporting each other so naturally.
When we were done and getting ready to go, I backed up from the table and Joe reached down, without thinking to put down my feet flippers. I picked up our stuff and out we went. It struck me then how we have just adapted to my disability and we each do stuff to make things go smoothly and easily. Done in ways where power doesn't shift and respect doesn't waiver.
So it's possible to support with class, it seems to begin with genuine care and profound thoughtfullness.
I loved the story and the natural way of covering an "agenda."
It makes me think of Karen, a woman who is one of my mother's Helping Hands support workers in England. She worked with a man in a nursing home who was depressed and refusing to leave his room. Each day when she visited to do his personal care, she would give him a "quest"--some relatively difficult puzzle to solve, that would pull him out of himself as he would need to connect with others to solve it. Soon all of the other people in the home were looking forward to the daily "quest." It was so creative and so wonderful. I was grateful that God had sent someone like her to support my mum.
Nice one. We're still working on such style
You know thinking from another's point of view is really a lost art in our culture. I constantly try to train my daughters in this. While we shop, I make them pause and take in their surroundings, noticing others and being aware. And as you spoke of the husband and wife it made me think too of how often women put up with being disprespected by their partners in the care of their children. It so often is assumed that caregiving tasks should go to the Mom. I am so thankful that my husband steps up and is a full partner in parenting. We struggled at first to find the balance, and maybe out of necessity (with four young kids) or maybe out of growing respect and love, we have managed to come full circle and become quite a team. Thanks for making me be thankful tonight. :)
Its the small things that make the big differences.
I love your blog; it gives me a lot of things to think about, and realizations about how something small can make a huge impact.
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