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The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

through a loving story of a friendship between a newly wounded soldier

and Rocky the squirrel with his backyard friends. This story began as a

blog during my first year in bed after my incident. With much

encouragement, it is now a book and has been placed in the

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Please watch the video

on the About page to learn for the Soldier & Rocky are changing children's

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« Titanium - My First Real Chair | Main | The Shore »
Thursday
Aug082013

The Change

The warm water falls over my hands like a womb. The sink at just the perfect height for my forearms to rest on the counter. My chair fitting perfectly beneath its bowels. My head rests on my arm in resolve and gratitude to the doctor in the other room. A room more accessible than this one with the little blue man on its door.

The public restroom handicapped sink is much easier to use than the handicapped stall. Or the handicapped door to the restroom that weighs as much as the handicapped stall. I am so lucky to be driven to my appointments, as that means I always have someone to open these doors.

I am learning a lot about the change. The morphing of my old life to the new. Handicapped doesn't always mean accessible. Any time I see the bathroom door with the little blue man in the half moon, I wonder what it really means. As though one must pass the handicapable test of managing the door to earn the right to the stall and the sink. The stall and the sink I used to use in airports with extra luggage. Luggage. That was my loophole to the stall.

Now I cherish that stall. That sink. Amenities built for people like me. People who used to gaze longingly at their vacancy in busy restrooms, but are now passing by others who are crossing their legs in line.

Placing my legs beneath a sink was never a goal of mine. Not that placing them above one was either. As my mobility has deteriorated, one of the most difficult things to accept has been the modifications of my surroundings. Little blue men were for public restrooms. Not my own. But as time has stripped the will of my limbs, the choice is no longer mine.

Construction began this week on our home. Its floors are scalped. The sweet smell of breathing wood wafts through the hall. Doorways will be widened and the stairwell extended so my chair lift reaches the floor. It is just the beginning of the change. A change I thought would be for anyone else, but me.

But I have yet to wonder why. Which is the greatest curiosity of all. My parents wonder why. My friends do too. I lay here without the answer. So I choose not to ask. The why of it all is not for me to know. It's as though knowing the answer will affect the reason for it all. I wonder more about other things.

The water at the sink felt so good because it soothed the things I cannot change. Getting to the sink would be so difficult if I was alone. But I am not alone. I am surrounded by those who open the door. To that stall. To that sink.

The running water trickles to a stop. I dry my hands and turn to leave. The mirror reflects my head as it glides above the counter. To a door. Opened once again, by a friend.


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