Thursday, June 23, 2011

Think about it

Up ahead along the the right side of the road, a cyclist rode his bicycle. This was no ordinary cyclist. His legs showed no muscle tone. The size of t-ball baseball bats, his thin limbs pumped up and down as he moved down the road. In stature, He was the size of a small child of maybe 11 years old. I was overcome with sympathy for him. He seemed to be afflicted with a spinal disorder. His upper back was larger and higher on the left side and his torso was short. As I passed him, I noticed, this was not a child. It was a man. A young adult.
Joy riding? Or getting to where he must or desires? I don't know, but he wasn't letting his limitations hold him back.
Most of us are very fortunate in that we can move freely, effortlessly, and painlessly. Sure we have difficulties now and then. But how many of us have serious physical limitations? We may have physical limitations that were self inflicted but those we can usually overcome. Many times we take for granted the fact that we can get out of bed on our own, groom ourselves, or not. Head out the door to work or play. choose what we will eat and the fact that we can feed ourselves when, where, and how we please.
My youngest sister was born with severe physical and mental disabilities, but she was alive. My sister needed the attention of a baby all her life. Doctors said she would not live past adolescence. She proved the doctors wrong. Mom tended to her in a very caring and loving way until she could no longer handle the 24-7 attention my sister required. Mom was aging. Reluctantly, Mom and Dad placed our sister in an assisted living facility for the remainder of her life. Minnie lived to be 45. She lived 11 years after Dad passed and 9 years after Mom passed. Today we laid her to rest. I can't help but to feel guilty for taking my physical abilities for granted as well as not giving much more attention to my little sister. I wish I could have been there for her more. I am guilty of thinking "oh, She's Ok." But not checking on her more often. The people at the facility she resided at were with us today as we laid our sister to rest. These are exceptional people. Those who devote their lives to working with people who cannot care for themselves are to be commended. They are devoted to their work, and to those that need the most help. We don't think about these people much, the ones needing help and the ones providing that help.
Think about how fortunate you are next time you walk out the door. Think about those who care for those who can't care for themselves.
Think about that young man riding his bicycle down the road, not letting his physical limitations hold him back.

1 comment:

Jeff Farrell said...

My wife's family has an adopted Uncle who has cerebral palsy and has been wheel chair bound for all of his 69yrs. He lives alone but it is a huge struggle for him to take care of the smallest things. When I'm feeling sorry for myself I try to remind myself to think of Uncle Buddy.......very sorry for your loss