I like to think of myself as a pretty self-sufficient person, but the truth is I’m not. Place me in an environment that’s inaccessible (stairs, tiny doorways, small bathroom, etc.) and I’m pretty much helpless. This is where the kindness of others comes in and saves the day. To better illustrate what I mean I’m going to tell you of the adventures I had over weekend.

I’d been in respite care at a local nursing home. My parents were doing some travelling and couldn’t take me with them. Our local Festival of Words (writer convention) kept me busy Thursday and Friday, but by Saturday I was bored out of my mind. I texted one of my former aides about it, remembering that her daughter had said she wanted to meet me and asked if there was any chance they could come spring me for a couple hours. She said yes and we made plans for her to pick me up the next day for supper.

We tried to do a little bit of planning the night before. We decided she would pick me up in her car rather than her truck, and I would take my walker rather than my wheelchair since the walker would be easier to load up. Perfect plan, or so we thought.

They pulled up, I grabbed my purse, and we headed outside. This is where we hit our first snag. The floor of her car was further off the ground than we thought. Plan A, to just turn backwards, sit on the seat, and swing my feet in was not going to work. Looked like we needed a plan B and I suddenly felt super self-conscious. I was used to her helping me in school, and we’re really good friends. Logically, I knew she had absolutely no problem helping me, but I still felt awkward. I guess she sensed this because when I slid out of the car after plan A failed she was telling me to breathe and relax. We would be fine.

I don’t even remember what plan B was, but it failed too. Plan C, sitting me on the edge of the seat and brute force lifting was ungraceful, but successful. We laughed about it, and after a quick stop at the grocery store we headed to her house.

We got me settled in a chair on the patio, and her daughter and I chatted about books and shows we liked while she cooked pork chops. No awkward moments there. (Unless you count spilling a little bit of pop because a dog barked right as I was trying to take a sip)

Then came snag number two, stairs. There were four stairs to get into her house. I could bump on and off one step with my walker no problem; four would be a bit of a challenge though. We decided it would be easiest to get her husband to help. Great. Now someone else, someone I barely knew, was getting volun-told to help me. Luckily he was good natured about it and with him on one side of me and her on the other climbing the stairs was really easy.

Dinner went smoothly from there. We talked, laughed, and discovered it is indeed possible to order five pounds of candy off of Amazon.

Our final hurdle was going to the bathroom before I left. Her, her husband, and I did the same side by side thing we did to climb the stairs, and then he left us alone so she could help me with the more private affairs. He came back when I was finished and we climbed down the stairs and loaded up into her car again, which was much easier with her husband there to help.

All in all it was a really fun night and I wouldn’t be surprised if we made plans to do it again soon.


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