Fortunately, I can walk. I just cannot walk far. I don’t own a wheelchair, but I have to use one in places like airports, museums and malls. The view from here isn’t so bad. No doubt, I would prefer wearing a helmet while my shoes are clipped to the pedals of a bicycle so I could power myself up a hill. But always one to look at the bright side, I don’t need to shower after a trip in a wheelchair. My perspectives from the chair are hilarious at times. It is also an interesting study in human behavior.
Airports are always an occasion for a wheelchair. They are big. My dad eagerly volunteered to push me through the Memphis airport. He maneuvered me onto the moving sidewalk on our way to the gate. Happily riding on the downhill incline, I gradually became aware that my sister was in a full sprint beside me. Unknown to me, my dad had let me go and the chair was rolling, near careening, toward the bar at the end of the ramp. Despite his bum knee, he raced to catch me about the time my sister arrived at the exit breathless.
Hebrews 4:14, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens-let us hold fast to the confession.” HCSB
In case you don’t already know, I can be a bit of a control freak. By the way, there is probably no such thing as “a bit” of a control freak. I am an obsessive planner, which can be a good thing, but is difficult to execute unless everyone cooperates. When I was in Manhattan for a robotic thymectomy, my husband and I attempted to do a little sight-seeing before my surgery. We visited The Natural Museum of History where he stood in line for a long time to borrow a wheelchair. While waiting, I downloaded an app with seventeen points of interests. Repeatedly I directed him to the Star of India. Let’s just say he is not an obsessive planner. In fact, he is a wanderer. In addition, he does not hear well in a building with ceilings four stories high and school kids running everywhere. He pushed me alongside a display case to look at a stuffed bird. Trying to be patient, I unsuccessfully attempted to read the map so we could see the big sapphire. But, there’s that bird again. I had a plan, which by the way was a good plan, but it didn’t go well. We were both frustrated and neither of us enjoyed it much. Wheelchairs are not for control freaks.
Philippians 3:21, “who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” NIV
Recently, I visited my daughter in Dallas and we went to the mall with a wheelchair she borrowed from work. It was my first excursion into the mall since I developed myasthenia gravis. Her training in occupational therapy school qualifies her as a professional wheelchair driver. She skillfully parked me out of the way while she sorted through a sale rack. A grinning young man looked down at me and asked, “Did you kick someone?” I told him my diagnosis then of course had to explain what that meant. He said, “Well you look adorable in a wheelchair, you are rockin’ it.”
Might as well embrace it…
People surprise me. Unless assisted, doors can be a real challenge to the one pushing a wheelchair. Some people just pass on by. Recently an unusual woman stopped to help. She must have been in a big hurry because she ran afterwards. Her head was shaved in the back and long in the front like a lion’s mane. Not the “type” you would expect to stop and help. Can’t judge a book by it’s cover.
Luke 10:33, “A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him.” MSG
I can only speak for myself, but I would much rather someone ask me why I’m using a wheelchair, than give me a funny look when I get out and walk around. If you see someone approaching a door pushing a wheelchair, please hold it open. And by all means, if you are pushing a wheelchair, never, ever turn it loose on a hill, unless of course you are absolutely sure your sister can run really fast!
Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” NIV
We may roll out of control at times, but I would love to have you follow so you don’t miss a post. If you are not already receiving email updates, enter your address below. If we start careening, I will call my sister.