Joe often suggests that we drive home through the country, so I wasn't suprised when we got to Bond Head road that he suggested we get off the 400 and head home via back roads. But then, about twenty minutes later as we were both marvelling at the beauty of the frozen north, the fields of snow, black trees glinting with ice, mini flurries blown by puffs of winter air - he drops the bomb. A conversation begins that could change the whole rest of our lives.
At ten o'clock yesterday morning someone walked up to him and offered to buy our house.
It's not on the market. Yet. But we have been discussing maybe moving to the city in three or four years. I know these are painful discussions for Joe as he loves the house and loves country living - but I've grown increasingly uncomfortable with being in the country. I try not to make decisions that are entirely disability based but this one is - no question. I don't like the isolation imposed by the combination of back roads and my wheelchair. I worry that if something ever happens to Joe, I would be completely lost. And if there was an emergency where Joe needed help, I would be ineffectual. Joe, whose outlook on life is much sunnier than mine, worries about none of these things. He just likes puttering around the house.
So, here we are. A good offer on the house, but a few years before we had planned to move. What do we do? I think I want to take the offer and then quickly work out what happens next. Joe agrees but his voice is hesitant. I know we are both picturing the future differently.
We leave the discussion as, "We need to think about this."
All night I have tried to take disability out of the equation and look at other issues regarding lifestyle. But I can't. My disability determines my lifestyle now and it would be foolish to pretend otherwise. This is a time to be really honest with myself. I want to move because I'm disabled - there, I've said it.
What I need to do, I think, is to make sure that Joe doesn't have to sacrifice his wants, needs and desires for me. I know he has sacrificed to make sure that my life has gone on unimpeded. I am willing to sacrifice that his doesn't either - and if that means worrying in the night about what might happen, so be it.
But sometime, over the next week, we have to make a decision that could alter our lives. A decision that leads to a host of other decisions.
All because, at 10 o'clock yesterday, someone made an offer on a house that wasn't for sale.