Monday, July 28, 2014

What Matters

Usually, I try.


When I'm in a situation where a staff offers me special assistance, like going to the front of the line, or having things carried for me, or any other kind of 'kindness' offered to me specifically because of my disability, I decline. Always politely. I figure that if I can do it, I should do it. Even if it takes a bit of extra effort. I'm never really sure who I'm doing this for ~ is it for those watching, do I want them to see an independent disabled person doing it like everyone else (even though I know I'm not). Or is it for me, proving to myself that I can still do what I need to do without much in the way of extra help. Maybe it's a bit of both.

But Sunday.

At church.

My chair fits into the accessible seating area with a little bit of manoeuvring. Getting out, equally, takes know how. It's not just a simple turn. Even so, when communion is offered, and when I decide to take communion - which isn't all the time, I swing my chair out and then back and forth and back and forth and back and forth until my foot pad clears the pew in front. It takes a few minutes, but I figure God's got time. Others in the row may choose to take communion in their place from the person who is assigned that week to take communion to those of us who may find it difficult to get up front. But me, I go up front.

But Sunday.

This Sunday.

I was tired. I wanted communion but the thought of back and forth and back and forth and back and forth was just beyond me. So, when asked, I signalled that I'd like to have communion where I sat. It was brought to me, I took it, was prayed over and it was done. Nice and easy.

Odd thing was it didn't matter to me. It didn't seem to matter to anyone else. Not sure why I worried that it might.


Flemisa said...

I went from reading your blog to my Facebook page and there was a quote that says "Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but instead a sign of humility and strength. It is about recognizing that we are here to uplift and guide each other on our journeys, a reminder that we should love and care for one another through compassion and kindness."

It is so very hard sometimes not to do everything ourselves that sometimes we overlook the fact it is no great achievement to "do it our self". Sometimes it is very important for someone else to be able to do it for us. Sometimes it is very important that we do ask another to do something we could do. Important for them.

Important to pray and not maneuver.

Moose said...

Asking for help is not the same thing as being told that you require help [whether you want it].

There's nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. The problem comes when people think that you asking for help means that you always need help.

Anonymous said...

It's actually really helpful for me to see other people receiving assistance. My disabilities are invisible and I always think I should 'try harder' to be 'normal' and it ends up being bad for me in the end. Seeing that it's okay for things to be easier sometimes can be useful. (Not that my preferences should dictate when/why/who accepts or doesn't accept help...)


Anonymous said...

"I figure that if I can do it, I should do it." That is exactly how I think. Sometimes I wonder if I have a bit a pride behind that. I'm not sure. I know some day I won't be able to do for myself, when I will have no choice but to rely on others. Until then I feel some sort of self-imposed "rule" to do what I can while I can.

Anonymous said...

I feel moved- love and relief- by your use of language which I guess is carefully constructed.
You write, a STAFF offers me special assistance... or any other kind of ‘kindness’ offered to me specifically because of my disability.
I think it’s the job of staff to offer support to those they serve. Offering support with kindness is the right way to go about it, offering support is our/their job and therefore not ‘A’ kindness but 'WITH' kindness.
I used to think ‘staff/workers’ and 'staff/stick that supports' were different words. But now I can see how they overlap.
Staff should stick around with offering support no matter what the response, if we choose to use or not use the support, if we choose to do it in two or do it alone, if we tell staff their intervention is not welcome or welcome.
Our job as staff
is to stick around and offer support.
Our task as those living in a world not adapted to our needs
is to preserve our selves, our identity, our integrity.
Our task as communities
is to work on this together 2get there.
Thank you Dave.

B. said...

I had to think about this. We have the physical situation to contend with and social limitations to deal with. Whenever barriers are removed we all (all society) benefits (everyone enjoys using automatic doors, etc.), and we (so-called disabled) get to become 'one of the group'. It shouldn't be so hard for you to just go up for communion. It's a big discussion and we have a long way to go.