Today I was going stir crazy, so Mel took me out to eat. It was a long process since I still can't put any weight on my leg. Getting around my own room has become an Olympic event. I had taken so many things for granted! A simple thing like a shoe on the floor was nothing when I had both legs healthy. Now, trying to navigate around it or picking it up is nearly impossible! After dinner I was wiped out and just returned home and crashed.
While I was recuperating a thought came to me of how utterly challenging life must be for people with disabilities. I have never been clueless to this fact. I worked with people with disabilities for a while and saw their struggles.
As a matter of fact I have a friend named Chris. Chris is one of the most amazing people I know. He was born with a condition that requires him to wear braces on his legs, either that or use a wheelchair. Chris' life was hard and to respect his privacy I won't go into details but his spirit is unbelievable!
He lives alone now and manages to travel all over the place. This is amazing enough except for the fact that he does it all on public transportation! Chris knows the transit system better than people that work there! When he isn't working or attending his various appointments, Chris can be found downtown enjoying the world. I tease him all the time that he should just run for Mayor, since everyone knows him and he knows everyone!
The other cool thing about Chris is that he is so independent. When we go anywhere he insists on putting the wheelchair in my car himself. He carries his own bags and will use his walker to navigate around by himself. Add to this the fact that he is a loyal friend, true and true. He calls to make sure I am okay. He worries about my kids in college as much as I do and he always remembers to ask about my crazy dog Buddie. He has a heart as big as they come!
Chris had a slip and fall and wound up in the hospital recently, yet he was more worried about finding out how I was after my surgery!
I know Chris will probably be upset with me for putting him in the lime light, but honestly he so deserves it. I feel that way,even more now. I have gotten a deeper understanding of how really difficult it must be for him to get around at times. He has to consider the elements, the terrain, the stairs, etc, any time he is going to go out! The only time I think about the weather is just to decided what to wear!
I know that in a few weeks I will be back on my feet, but my friend Chris will have to struggle the rest of his life. I also know these two things; one, I will never take my health or mobility for granted again, and two, I now really know how much of an everyday hero my friend Chris really is. Through all his trials and struggles he continues to live life to the fullest extent of his ability!
Chris buddy, I love you and you truly are my hero! Now hurry up and get better so we can go get some tacos!