Sunday, December 20, 2009

Count Your Blessings

Yesterday afternoon while on the way to the mall (bad idea), the family and I got stopped at a red light. Glancing around, as one usually does to occupy themselves at yet another red light, I spotted a man walking towards a woman who was presumably his wife.

He met her in the middle.

Between their vehicle and the entrance to the gas station store. A simple task for most but for this man, it was no easy task. He walked with a very noticable and very abnormal gait. A painful looking one in fact. But he didn't make his wife walk to him, and he didn't seem to be bothered by who may, or may not, be staring at him.

I was.

And Sean noticed too.

My immediate reaction - I feel bad for the guy. But then I thought, "Do I want people to feel bad for me"? Well, if we're being totally honest here, maybe sometimes. But for the most part, no. I would, and do like to be treated just like anyone else. I'm willing to bet that man does too.

The light turned green and we turned into the mall parking lot. Three minutes later, we turned out. It wasn't a pressing matter and cruising through a packed mall with Bean and no stroller was not going to happen. I was promised to leave there with a headache and bitchy attitude if that were to happen.

Instead, we headed to Costco (LOVE that place) to stock up on paper plates, free samples, and juice. After completing our shopping trip we stopped for Costco Dogs. Feeding a family of 4, a hot dog and drink each for $6.53, can't be beat! While eating our dogs (I know, not on the diet) I noticed a young woman who may have been in her late twenties, so a little older than me. ;)

She was in a wheel chair and had no legs.

She waited patiently for her hubby (again, I'm guessing) to bring her some food. Once he arrived, she chatted him up without a care in the world.

I wonder...

Do people with disabilities just get use to the stares, the comments, and the crazy looks? Or do they go home from the experience a little more damaged, and shed a tear or two? An experience that to us "normal folks", seems so uneventful.

I'm far from 'normal', as I think most people are.

I firmly believe that we're all put on this beautiful earth for a certain purpose. I suppose mine was to have MS and share my experience via this blog and whatever venture has yet to come.

The man at the gas station, to show people like me that no matter the disability, you can handle it, share it with the world, and possibly grow from the experiences brought by it. And to the lady in Costco - She ate her food like you and I - Laughed with her spouse like you and I - And maybe most importantly, loved like you and I.

During this holiday season and everyday thereafter, remember what you DO have, and don't give anymore thought to the things you don't. Love the one's that love you back. And remember that you deserve every blessing you have, and can manage without the one's you don't.

Happy Holiday's!


Ella said...

A very touching article. I always remember - one may think one's troubles are terrible but there is always someone worst off then we. At my son's eighth grade graduation, the priest that officiated was speaking he reminded us that no matter the situation just remember "this too shall pass". I will always remember that phrase.

Julia said...

Wow, I was just dealing with this on a personal level. Right after I got diagnosed, my parents wanted to have us over for a family dinner. I was apprehensive that this dinner was a "sorry you just got diagnosed" kind of thing. I walked in and my 93 fit-as-ever grandmother came over to give her condolences. At that moment I started crying and later I realized that I just did not like people (especially my 93 y/o grandma) to feel sorry for me. It is weird to have people pity you.

I am over it now but it did make me hyper aware on how I treat anyone who is not "normal" as we call it. Another life lesson learned.

Jennifer said...

I completely understand your feelings. I find myself looking at disabled people in a different light now. I often wonder what they are thinking, if we have the same disease, and how I would cope in their shoes. Your writing was very touching. Thank you.