The girls and I went on a picnic across town and I met them on my scooter. We like to try new spots and this was our first time at this location. We had a lovely time but looking for a washroom was a bit daunting. We ended up retracing our steps twice, so on the way home I was running low on battery.
Wondering whether I’d make it, I started inquiring other scooter drivers on-route if they knew somewhere I could charge for a bit. I even approached a homeless bunch drinking who told me to have a beer and don’t worry about it.
Turning off the key at every red light I limped by until I happened upon a woman who was in a power wheelchair. She couldn’t help with my immediate problem but was a wealth of information in the bigger picture problem. We stood there talking for twenty minutes.
Being on the eve of a power chair myself she was tiny like me and had a very compact model that I liked the looks of. She gave me the ins and outs about it that spun off into more, and it was really her spirit that attracted me the most.
She told me she lived in a place where they’ve been doing renovations for two years now and were still not done. “You must be getting sick of it,” I said. She replied no, she enjoyed the workers, their attitude and their ethics, and likes connecting with them. “It’s their energy,’ she said, “they’re hard working, integral, and have a great boss. In fact, they’re called Integrity Construction.” Most of the residents complained bitterly about the drilling, sawing and pounding, but she actually went up the one of the workers on a smoke break and thanked him. “He almost fainted,” she said. Turns out he was the boss.
In our exchange, it was the timing that got me. Just the day before I spoke with a rental place because earlier in the week I had the power chair discussion with my case manager. The jest of our conversation was weighing the risks and benefits; of whether the decision was premature in that I would become dependent that much sooner versus my theory of ‘wasting’ walking getting around the four-building village I live in to save my steps for more worthy outings. Plus I have a fear of losing the ability of not being able to go on outings with my friends.
My acquaintance was quick to say, ”Don’t wait,” and spoke about why would I prolong not wanting the freedom that awaits me using up so much energy to maintain ‘the walk?’ I could relate because it was like moving into assisted living where I didn’t wait and have been all the more happier and richer for it. She said when we do the better things that fill us and nourish us, our bodies love us and respond positively. Her view of expounding vast amounts of energy walking was the wrong priority in her mind. Fear is paralyzing and not to claim it she said. She herself was a 40 year MS veteran who could no longer stand or transfer herself so she knew what she was talking about. And she was so bright and cheerful maintaining a great lifestyle in her spunky little chair.
We stood there on the street corner in the July sun rapping about life in general while my key was turned off and the battery in my scooter re-juiced itself enough that I got easily got home.
I want what that lady has.