Friday, March 10, 2017

this morning

I lay in bed this morning, waking up a few minutes before having to get up. I could see my wheelchair, parked off to the side outlined by the faint light of morning. I felt this powerful sense of gratitude towards it. Even in the dimness of the light, I could see the wear and tear of travel and of constant use. I could see bumps and bruises, the lost arm rest, the ripped seat, the worn out rubber on the tires.

And I loved it.

It's taken me to the Yukon and to Florida to San Francisco and Vancouver and Edmonton and New York and Halifax and Boston and London and now Newcastle Upon Tyne. Even this list is abbreviated ... so many other places, so many other events, it's taken me there, it's brought me home.

It's part of me, even when it's sitting across the room from me, in early morning, waiting.

It's part of my identity, even when I'm not in it.

It frees me, to be here now, to do what I am going to do today.

They say it confines me, and maybe it does ... to a life of freedom, and of movement and of participation.

A few minutes later, I am up, shaving, showering and sitting here writing this. All done in the chair that waited for me all night.

I owe the life I have to a part of me that others see, but simply can't understand.


Diana said...

The best part.... it's your tool not your crutch. You don't let it define who you are as a person!!!

Emily and Laura said...

Exactly! I recently got my first wheelchair, which I don't need around the house but do need whenever we go out somewhere I need to walk more than a very short distance, and I just love it. It sits in the dining room, waiting for me whenever I need it. It frees me to go places I haven't been able to go to in several years now, and makes living a full life more possible.

And I have to thank you for the 180ยบ shift in my outlook on getting my own chair. I resisted for several years, until recently it sunk in, from reading you regularly, how my attitude was my biggest blockade. When I realized the chair would be freeing, not confining, it was like the sun coming out from behind clouds! I'm not kidding, either. I get very, very offended now when people describe someone as "confined to a wheelchair" because I finally saw just how that attitude is what's confining, not the chair. Like you said, the chair just a tool!