Posted by: Kimberly Dredger | August 7, 2010

Weekend thoughts

I am spending a comfortable Saturday morning resting up from my part-time job… which this week included more walking than I should have done, and my foot is talking to me about it.  (It is saying things like “^#&*@&!!  You great silly! #&*@(*!  ” In other words, my foot is not much of a lady.)  So, at the stern instruction of my sweet Jim, I am sitting with said unladylike foot up, and a kitty on my lap.  Jocko, our parrot,  who went on my part-time job with me, is sleeping in his cage… he loves to go to the lake, but it is always WAY too exciting, so he spends a day or two recovering.

I just reread my very first posts on this blog, and spent awhile thinking about how things have changed since then.  If you have nothing better to do (God help you, if that’s the case… CERTAINLY on a weekend you have something better to do) take a minute and go to the archives, labeled “Earlier Posts” and go to the February and March  sections…  

When I started this project, I really had never thought very much about people with limited mobility.  I had been responsible for more than a year of getting my mother with her walker, and my step-dad in his wheel-chair to doctors’ appointments, but I didn’t ever view it as a life-style.  Now that I have been involved with Team Reeve and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, and since I just finished listening to Nothing is Impossible, by Chris Reeve, I have a new understanding and appreciation for what the Reeve Foundation is all about.  One of the current articles on the Reeve newsletter, which you can access with the top button, there at the right, is about America’s most accessible cities.  They only considered LARGE cities, and only considered cities that don’t get snow, so our own little city of Missoula wasn’t in the running.  But, I am proud of Missoula, none the less.  Currently work is being done on all of the curbs in the whole area to bring them down to street height.  I look forward to a day when this is the way streets are planned to begin with, so that cities don’t have to go back and do major fixes after the fact.

When Grace and Earl were planning the house that Jim and I live in now, they were still youngish people.  But they planned their house with an open floor plan and wide doors, wide enough for a wheel chair.  They did this on purpose, because they knew that this was going to be the last house they would live in, and they knew the chances that one of them might need a wheel chair were pretty good.  As it turns out, Grace wasn’t ever strong enough to propel a wheel chair herself, nor stand up alone.  She spent the last ten years of her life pretty much confined to her recliner.  But, they had PLANNED.

Planning is a good thing.  Jim and I are youngish people, ourselves, now.  We feel the tweeks and groans of approaching old age, but it is still far enough in the future that it isn’t too frightening.  But we are planning.  If all goes according to schedule, marvelous.  But we also have to plan for the unexpected.  As I’ve said, humans are fragile beings.  I am sitting today with my foot up.  No biggie.  But, are we prepared for the big “what ifs?”  To the drawing board… to the planning lists…  to the savings banks.  Can anyone ever be prepared for all the contingencies? No, but a start is better than nothing.

The dogtag I wear now is a Superman tag… It has Christopher Reeve’s motto on it, and I am borrowing that now, for my sign off.  “Go Forward.”

Go Forward, my friends.  Go Forward.

8/4 – 10 miles on the Airdyne
8/7 – 15 miles

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Responses

  1. What were your numbers this week?

    Love the planning ahead idea with the house–

  2. Great comments Kimberly! Sympathizing with you and your propped up foot.

    Another thing that keeps people indoors is visual impairments. I just found this out this summer when I took my ex-in-laws to the grocery store. They both have macular degeneration. I never realized how many things you can’t do when you can’t see. I knew they needed to be taken to the grocery store because they can’t drive, but I never thought of the effect of not being able to see what’s on the shelves.

  3. This year has been humbling for many of us youngish people, hasn’t it? It has given me an appreciation for the burden carried by people who have limited mobility, and an appreciation for the parking spaces reserved for them. Never did I think I would voluntarily use one of those spaces, but I have the card and the paperwork to do it now, and I’m not too proud to use it.

  4. Thanks Kimberly for some wise words, and for the willingness to grow and change as you did over these last few months. Amazing when we go from “me” to “we” or even “all of us” in our thoughts and plans for the future…

    hang in there – or actually, hang that foot up there!
    Barbara


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