Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

The Art of Wheelchairing

on June 13, 2018

Finally in 2015 I gave in and ordered a wheelchair for a trip to Mexico to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. I considered it would be useful getting me through Customs. That was the beginning of my shaping a new world view from the sitting-point of a wheelchair.

The first leg of my flight took me to Chicago. But Chicago was having “weather” and I never got there. Instead I spent the day in the Cleveland airport parked in my wheelchair near other wheelchair occupants. My first lesson was that not only elder folk use them. A youngish woman who had injured her leg in a motorcycle accident sat beside me. When she wanted to buy food she loaded her carry-on bag in the chair and pushed off. At lunch time I followed suit feeling only a little self-conscious. My new journey began. Not only is a wheelchair good as a conveyance for carrying luggage and making small trips to find food, but also it is quite comfortable. The arms and foot rests are a cut above the usual seating in the gate area. I discovered the wheelchairs in the Houston airport, where I ended up after Chicago closed down, even have cup holders.

Last weekend I flew to Minneapolis to visit my son and his family. There were delays going and coming back home that left me to settle into my compact wheelchair world. I noticed in the concourse that people were using wheelchairs to push large luggage and small children. Wheels have always been a radical part of moving civilization forward. When I pushed my wheelchair to the Women’s restroom I was having trouble getting my chair into a stall that had a Handicap sign on it but had room only for a person. A kind young mother accompanied by her child in a stroller tried to help me. I confessed that I was not very good at navigating. She replied that I was doing great and she could never do as well. I thought to myself that she had already learned the basic lessons from pushing her children around and just didn’t realize it.

18 responses to “The Art of Wheelchairing

  1. I’m going to keep this remarkable information in the back of my mind for future trips!

  2. Dale says:

    I am so glad you have chosen to participate in life to the fullest. If that means using a wheelchair, then more power to you! And, it sounds like you’re reaping the benefits as well as seeing life from a different angle.
    May you continue travelling far and wide!

  3. I am all too familiar

  4. It is good to embrace life and have fun and you are very wise!!

  5. You are my inspiration, and here again in another way.

    Also you made me think about my mother, when she was weak from chemo, she wanted to keep taking this writing course at the local junior college. But she couldn’t bear all the walking. So she would bring her wheel chair in the trunk of her car and wait for some young strong man to walk by, and ask him for help getting it out of the trunk. After that, she was good. She did this at every class and I was super impressed with her, wondering if I would have done it or stayed at home.

    • vivachange77 says:

      Good for your mother. One thing about needing help is discovering the kindness of strangers. When you get to the that point I believe you will strike out on the journey in your mother’s footsteps. I also believe we who receive help are the natural compliment to those who want to extend it. It is OK.

  6. JoHanna Massey says:

    Your can do attitude, for what is a huge change and adjustment is so reassuring to hear. Thank you. Roll on my dear poet friend, roll on!

    • vivachange77 says:

      Thanks, JoHanna. Another wonderful addition to my living is my Rollator walker with a seat that lifts up to reveal storage space for shopping or whatever and a place to sit down if I want a break. My population is on the roll.

  7. Eileen says:

    Lots of varied experiences, both delightful and difficult, in traveling in a wheelchair. But always an adventure. My favorite was when I went on the concrete road along the ocean for bikes and skate boarders and in my electric wheelchair and I could zoom pass them!

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