Its 86 degrees out side and a gorgeous day. We spend 8 hours on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. Our daughter is here with her college Rowing Team, Univ. of Pittsburgh, to compete in the DAD Vail Regatta. We are very happy to see her Row!
Phone call to Dad last night: “I’ve been to the race sight and it is HUGE, I think you should think about bringing mom’s wheelchair.
Slightly frantic phone call this morning:”Dad, I am here again and I am sure Mom will need her wheelchair. Are you definitely gonna bring it? There’s NO WAY she’ll be able to do this without it!”
Of course we put it in the trunk, and I am grateful that she thought of me.
But…we get there and we have a problem! My husband drives a wheelchair like he drives his car, like a TWELVE YEAR OLD. Needless to say, I am not happy with this. This place is in no way wheelchair friendly. Technically, it is handicapped accessible, there’s even a Handicap Port-O-Potty. The rest is only good if you want to roll in a straight line, up and down the sidewalk all day. I have my camera and this’ll never work! Huge loss of freedom. We are rolling along with the crowd, and everything I see around me is beautiful. If I were walking, I could stop on a dime to get the shot. I could turn around to check things out from a different perspective. You can’t do that in a wheelchair. I struggle with the guilt of having him stop. Finally, I can’t take it anymore and I say, “Stop, pull over”, and he does. Now it’s time to use ALL of my marital diplomacy. My daughter and I lock eyes and I see in her expression, fear of the unknown. I slowly rise from the chair and go around the back of it. I hold my husbands’ arm and speak softly in his ear, “Honey, I want to get out and walk. I love you and I really appreciate you doing this for me. I know it’s hard in this heat and with all of these people but, I really need to get out and walk. I am miserable in the chair. Taking pictures is impossible. I need to be able to turn and move around for the shot, and I can’t do that in the chair. It’s killing me.”
Husband: “But Bay, that’s crazy! In this heat, with everything so spread out, there’s no…”
Cut off by me:”I’ll be fine. I feel very strong and Estizer will be with me. I’ll stop when I’m tired, and rest. We’ve even got our cell phones, so I can call you when I’ve done enough.” I think this is a great idea and with an affirming kiss I turn and join Estizer in front of the chair. She holds my hand and we begin to walk away.
But wait- WHAT’S THIS?
He’s still here. I turn and say, “Honey, you can go and I’ll just call you!” He says, “No, I’m going to stay with you”. I’m mortified. I say, “What? You’re just gonna follow us with the chair? We’re gonna look retarded!” He looks away from me and with a defiant tone in his voice says, “YES”.
We start walking and he stays with us as if this is perfectly normal. I walk about 100 meters and in THIS heat, it feels like a hundred miles. I need to stop and rest, but I’ve pushed it (determined to show him that I can do this). I don’t see anywhere close to go, and I need to sit NOW. I turn towards him and we connect. We do that mind link thing, that married couples do.
Without a word, he says to me,” I knew I was right! It’s too hot and you shouldn’t be doing this”. Also, with no words, I say to him, “I love you and yes, you were right. Thank you” Then, I sit.
Comments and Thoughts:
How does the heat affect you?