Monday, I had an incredibly early pick up time. Incredibly. Now I'm normally up early anyways but yesterday I struggled to get up, struggled to be ready on time. After showering I reached and grabbed a comfortable old shirt, I had no appointments scheduled so I was working on projects and didn't need to wear a spiffy shirt, and the nearest pair of jeans. Shortly thereafter I was in my chair, jacket on, and heading down to the bus.
The ride was smooth, the driver nice, unusually we had one pick up - a lovely woman. After she was dropped off I arrived at the office at just before 6:30. I locked the door behind me and went up to my office (I love my office) and pulled the chair in place. I pulled off my sweater, headed to the washroom, turned on the light ...
and saw myself ...
The old shirt I'd grabbed should have been put into the laundry, not left on the chair beside the bed. It was the shirt that I'd worn when we were making Joe's birthday cake:
(photo description: Dave in his manual wheelchair in the kitchen with Ruby standing beside him holding a bowl of cake batter and Sadie sitting on the counter stirring the batter.)
My shirt was covered in splatters of batter. There was a fine spray of droplets across my chest, a result of a stir going wrong. There were a couple big drops on the bottom of the shirt that I remembered having happened when the cake made it's perilous way from bowl to pan. But not only that, there was:
I had a four inch line of chocolate icing right in the middle of my chest. It looked like it had been drawn there, I don't remember how it got there, but get there it did. My shirt was a mess!
Then, I looked down. The pants I was wearing didn't fare much better. They were covered in:
Grey dust that came from:
Giving rides to the girls on my chair when they were still covered with the remnants of the pottery class they'd taken at the Gardiner museum. I hadn't realised how easily the mud would jump from them to me. So my shirt was covered in batter and chocolate from baking Joe's Popcorn Snake cake:
So I had started my week with an early Monday morning ride to work, wearing clothes that hadn't made it into the laundry basket. I sat looking at clothing that was marked with memories. I decided on the spot that I'd chosen my clothing quite correctly. I smiled every time I noticed a splatter of cake, a line of chocolate or a patch or mud.
I always park my wheelchair right at the door. It's folded up and rests there for the day while I use my office wheelchair. At one point in the day I made the connection between the mess on my clothes and the happy memories that came with them and my chair. My lovely, lovely chair. The one that gets me from one place to another. The one that can be in my kitchen making cakes with kids and the one that gets me from home to work and back. Then there's my power wheel chair that turns me into kind of a RoboDave who can carry kids for blocks and blocks and blocks.
I had always realised that the chairs were liberators, that they freed me to move. They carry me from place to place. But they are more than that, they are part of the relationships that I have in my life. Relationships made possible by the chair, by the things it lets me do with others. As I was thinking about all this, looking at my home chair, folded up neatly and napping against the wall, when I noticed that on the left armrest was a huge streak of chocolate.
I guess the kids and I weren't the only one's to lick the bowl.