Daring the Devil

Sometimes, being disabled, at least being in a wheelchair, is almost like an E-ticket ride. Taking walks with Pippa (Maggie has gotten too old), it’s a good thing that my chair is sturdy. The maintenance of the sidewalks in Corona is almost nonexistent. In their defense, we have lots of old trees with massive roots that tear up the sidewalk.

We have taken several vacations that make those tree roots look like child’s play. When we visited Sarah in Arizona three or four years ago, we went to Sedona. As I “bumped” (the word “bump” is putting it mildly) along, my wheelchair tipped from one side to the other. I almost toppled on numerous occasions. I was having so much fun. Sarah was in tears.


Not our actual trail, but close!

On a trip to Hawaii, my dad rented one of those beach wheelchairs. You know the ones: they’re plastic and have huge tires. There was a tag distinctly saying that the chair should only be used in six inches of water. Come on, what wave in Hawaii is six inches tall? This time, it was my grandma crying as she watched from the beach.   As she begged my Dad to go no deeper, a massive wave immersed me again. It was the time of my life.


Not actually me. I was about another ten yards out.

I guess I have always been a daredevil. Before I got sick I wanted to ride the Stratosphere, that roller coaster probably 300 feet in the air. I guess I really would have risked my life either way. If I didn’t die on the roller coaster, Mom would have taken care of it.

Thanksgiving in February

Last week I received this card from the people at Free Wheelchair Mission. Just out of the blue. Some of the employees have become friends, but I was so surprised, especially since my last donation was in November.


The sweet boy on the card looks thrilled. He must have just received his wheelchair. His life has done a complete 180! I don’t know how he got around before, but some of their recipients have spent their lives crawling on the ground. He now can go to school, later open a business and provide for his family.

I’m getting ahead of myself; of course, I’m just excited for him. But there are 100 million people just like him. But they don’t have wheelchairs. 100 million!

Being disabled, and having cheated death a few times myself, it highlights what’s truly important. And here’s a clue: it’s not what our politicians have been squabbling over.

Our priest says something that is so true: “If you were born in America, you have already won the lottery.”

If you are disabled, that goes double.