Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Moment Today

I had an odd experience today.

We had parked outside the office where I was going to be consulting. I was seated comfortably in a parked car. Even though it was still warm from the drive up, it was cooling quickly in the sub-zero temperature. Joe was outside, checking the area beside the car to see if it was slippery or dangerous for me to stand on. Satisfied that all was well, he opened the trunk.

Across from me is a picture window that looks in on a fitness center. In the morning sun it has become more of a mirror than a window. I see Joe behind getting things out of the trunk. Then I see him pull the wheelchair out and set it on the cold sidewalk. I saw my chair sitting there and it felt, oddly, like much more than a chair. I smiled looking at it. I felt that smile to be the same one I use when greeting old friends, or seeing happy dogs, or looking at pictures of fond moments. It played on my lips, telling me something.

It told me that my wheelchair was now so much a part of my life that I think of it less like an impersonal 'thing' and more like a personal friend. This 'thing' that people are so afraid of ... isn't an object of terror ... this life that I've been given ... isn't so bad after all. I realized, in seeing my chair, my old friend, that I am full habilitated as a disabled person. I'm fully comfortable with my role in life and my roll through life. Really OK.

When I got out of the car, I said to Joe, 'I think I'll hold on to your shoulder and walk over to the building instead of riding.'

Joe took the brakes off the chair and asked, 'Why, it's slippery?'

I said, 'I thought I'd give my chair just a few minutes off duty today.'

After a pause Joe said, 'You know what's weird? I know what you mean.'


Dark Angel said...

I know what you mean, too. I'm the same with my pc. Being deeafblind it's my primary source of staying in touch with theo utside world.

Brenda said...

Isn't it lovely? I believe those years of togetherness that result in a true 'knowing' of another person are truly precious. You are so blessed to have each other!

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

I think that I have had a taste of this feeling. I am not disabled but I have arthritis in my hips and knees and have had a reaction to everuthing I have taken to treat it. So the bottom line is - moving hurts - not enough to stop the moving but I can see that day coming. Last summer I injured my knee and after I had been in emergency at the hospital for a couple of hours an angel of an x ray technician (who had just seen the arthritis in my knees from the inside) got me a wheelchair. And I remember thinking as my husband pushed me down the corridor - I am moving and it doesn't hurt! Six months later I still remember that feeling. I can totally see how a wheelchair would be a welcome friend!


theknapper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
theknapper said...

You two are so cool.

Kristin said...

That is so cool...both that you feel that way and that Joe understood it so easily.

Anonymous said...

There have been times I've felt true fondness for my chairs. Especially after getting off some hospital slab where all my muscles lock up with pain, and my functionality drops by 50%, I have sometimes almost fallen off the tables in my uncoordinated hurry to get to that wheeled slice of "home."
Recently, my chair had to be put in the hall during a procedure, and I did not like that!
I have, actually, petted my chair with gratitude, on occasion.

Lene said...

what a wonderful moment and story to tell - that your chair has become your friend. Just the way it really is, instead of the way most people view it. And what a wonderful moment and story to tell when someone knows you so well that when you say something that could legitimately be called a little nutty, he knows exactly what you mean.

that warmed my heart, both stories.