"Where did you get your wheelchair?" a little boy is asking. We are sitting having dinner in a Toby's Carvery having arrived early enough to have a meal out. His mother is trying to guide him away. I indicate that I'm totally OK with the question.
"I bought my wheelchair," I said.
"Where did you buy it?" he asked really curious.
"I bought it back home in Toronto," I said.
"No," he said, frustrated, "What kind of store did you buy it in?"
"Oh," I said understanding, "I bought it in a store that sells wheelchairs."
"Like an ASDAS?"
"No, it's a store that has all sorts of stuff for people with disabilities. They have things that reach high for people who can't reach high and they've got bars for people to help lift themselves up and they've got things like wheelchairs.'
'Hmmm,' he said, 'are there stores like that here?'
'Yes, I'm sure, they have them pretty much everywhere.'
'Oh, that's good.'
'Why do you want to know?'
'My Grandpa can't walk any more and he won't come out with us. I want to get him a wheelchair for Christmas. How much are they?'
'I don't know the prices but this one cost about 300 pounds.'
'That's a lot.'
'I don't have that much saved,' he said with a sigh.
Finally he was done. His mother, who was chatting with someone the whole time, took his hand.
'Mom,' he said, 'You know what I want for Christmas?'
I'm willing to bet she would have guessed wrong.
Sometimes kids give me such a sense of peace ...
the future needs boys who want wheelchairs for Christmas so Grandpa can go out for dinner.
Aww...what a sweet story. And what a very sweet young man. Yup - the world could use a few more like him.
Quite a few more like him. Thanks for sharing that one. Hope that mom hears him ...
I hope grandpa hears him too, not only the Mom. I can't help wondering if the reason he doesn't already have a wheelchair is because he has too much stigma attached to the idea--it might symbolize "helplessness" "dependency" and "loss of independence" to him. (Of course a wheelchair needn't mean any of these things, for a person who needs one it represents the opposite...but if grandpa grew up without any disabilities he might still have these ideas stuck in his head.) Or he might even worry that his family would be embarrassed to see him in a wheelchair. But if any of this speculation is true, then knowing that his grandson would like for him to go out with the family might lower grandpa's resistance to the idea. Or so I would hope.
We sometimes forget that people affected by disability aren't always the obvious ones. This post is a testament to the effect of the grandfather on this little one's life. If I knew where to send it, I'd send the boy a cheque. Thank you for sharing.
Mum has a folding wheelchair and it cost surprisingly little. I'm hoping that this grandfather gets one.
I believe the world has a lot like him, it's just the news only wants to share the awful stories. Thanks for sharing a great one.
I wonder if you were in Scotland when this happened. If so, Grandpa should get a free wheelchair from social services, but as Andrea S said, he'd need to get over the stigma. And probably someone would need the energy to make a fuss to get one.
That's the thing about barriers- it's not always the physical things.
OMG, that made me so happy!
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