Monday, August 17, 2015

When tempted to whine, we all need a wake-up call

Anecdotes on two experiences in the past week. 

1. For the past few years, driving to Edmonton's Old Strathcona Farmer's Market on Saturday about 07:45 - along 83 Ave. from 109 St. to 105 St. - I've noticed a woman ~50 years old on a motorized wheelchair driving along 83 Ave. to the Farmer's Market. All I noticed was that she appeared to blow into a straw to control her vehicle and I assumed perhaps she had cerebral palsy. 

Last week at Whyte and 111 St., where I'd never seen her before, the same woman asked me for help. Specifically, she asked if I could transfer something on her wheelchair's foot plate, which was in danger of falling off, to the storage bin at the back of the wheelchair. 

As I helped, for the first time, seeing her close up, I noticed that she had stumps for arms and legs. She also had a slight speech impediment but was totally understandable. I thought, so not cerebral palsy, at least not alone, and perhaps she was a victim of Canada's thalidomide tragedy

When I said I had seen her many times on Saturdays going to the Old Strathcona Farmer's Market, she replied, 'Yes, it's my favorite place in the whole world.' Walking away, I admit to fighting tears. 

2. By chance this past Saturday, as I exited the Old Strathcona Farmer's Market - where some doors on 83 Ave. were closed (which usually aren't) - the same woman was just arriving. I held the door open and she drove in. 

But - and it's a big but - there was a partition directly in front of the door that blocked her access. She literally was stuck up against the partition unable to go forwards or backwards. I waited to see if I could help. She struggled with her 'sip and puff' control system and finally got her wheelchair seat to swivel and drive sideways to bypass the partition.

As for me, I was gobsmacked by her spirit and courage. Complaining about my aches, pains, and inconveniences just became A WHOLE LOT HARDER.

Comments are most welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:05 AM

    Your willingness to head out into the world, with your heart wide open, regardless of cracking, shattering, and breaking risks, and your bold sharing of your perceptions and experiences continually evoke my awe, missus.


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