I’m just going to put this out there, as insensitive and politically incorrect as it is. It’s gonna shock those of my readers who paint me as a martyr, super-saint or spiritual giant. What can I say, that was a house of cards anyway. Ready?
People in wheelchairs and on scooters used to annoy me. I think I’d actually roll my eyes and audibly sigh at times. I know, I know, it’s a pretty slimy attitude. I just always saw them making crowded places more crowded, aisles impassable and lines longer.
And now I’m using a wheelchair and scooter. My perspective has changed. I want to go ask every wheelchair-bound person to forgive me.
My first wheelchair experience came on the 4th of July. I almost stayed home, embarassed and alone but my overpowering desire to be with my family made me decide to take the wheelchair to be part of the Freeport parade festivities. Some people fed me my own former crappy attitude shooting me “what’s-your-problem” looks. When we found our parade spot, people, adult people, came and stood right in front of me. The same thing happened at the Yarmouth Clam Festival.
Some wheelchair/scooter people are rude and angry. Now I know how they got that way. They have to be pushy with so many people.
Do you know how many stores have aisles too narrow to navigate when you’ve got wheels attached? Do you know how many sidewalks are inaccessible? How difficult it is to get in and out of manual doors? No? I didn’t either. I do now.
Imagine how your life would change if tomorrow you woke up unable to get around by yourself. You can’t even go to Best Buy or Home Depot alone. You need someone to push. Depression sets in when you lose your independence. It set in for me.
I’m not suggesting you let wheelchair/scooter people go first or treat them like they are children. I’m just encouraging you to be aware, offer to open a door and don’t stand right in front of them at a parade, demonstration, ballgame, etc. It’s very easy to see over us.
I never thought I’d be where I am now. I never imagined that I’d be as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve for what is happening tomorrow afternoon. I am getting a motorized scooter! I am getting some of my independence back. Yes, I am totally pumped that the Lord provided a scooter for me. Unbelievable.
It means I can roll beside my wife at the mall, go to the fair with my dad or pick something up at Rite Aid or Shaws. It means I can leave this couch without needing someone to drive me and push me. It means independence. Can you imagine what that even feels like? I couldn’t. Or, maybe, I didn’t even try. That’s actually more accurate.
My new scooter has a little beepy horn on it. I’m just hoping I don’t meet many jerks like me prompting me to use it.
I’m so excited I wish I could dance! I’d definitely dance like this: