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I hate when my husband eats onions…

So last week Matt and I visited Younker Rehab to meet with an outpatient physical therapist and a mobility/seating specialist to discuss options for a new set of wheels for Matt. We were excited for the possibility of ditching the old wheels for something slightly smaller, lighter perhaps, and better fitting to him…but once we started making our ways through the oh-so-familiar hallways I started to freak out a bit. My stomach was in knots, my palms were sweaty…I suddenly flashed back to long, long days in those hallways…enduring hours and hours of grueling therapy.  It must have been post-traumatic stress! While there were days of hope and days filled with promise, in general it was a very dark time for us. I still can’t believe all that we’ve been through…but anyway, we met with the specialists and it didn’t take long for my heebie jeebies to pass. Soon we were discussing Matt’s needs, and the VAST array of options – our minds spinning at how many things there were to consider. Height, depth, width, weight, color, foot pedal types, materials, cushions, backs…the list goes on. Quickly the room was filled with conversation as we contemplated the options, and laughter as we bantered back and forth like we usually do. The group of specialists taking notes on Matt’s needs and ideas and putting together one heck of a nice chair for us on paper. It was like ordering a car – picking all the features and options!  Sitting across the room from Matt, listening to him laugh and joke and talk about what he needs, likes, etc…I couldn’t help but feel proud of him.
I know that these people likely had some sort of pre-conceived idea of what to expect when meeting with us. Surely their years of experience have exposed them to other people with disabilities similar to Matt…but they’ve not met Matt. He’s unique. Special. There’s just something about him and us and our situation that inevitably makes an impact on people. He could be mopey, depressed, unhappy and resigned to a life of heartache. No one would blame him – and I think a lot of time people expect to feel sorry for him. But then they get to know him – and see the joy in his twinkling eyes, his crooked smile, and his hearty laugh. They listen to us talk about the places we’ve been and the fun we’ve had and they’re surprised at all the LIFE we live, despite our circumstances, and they are impressed. 
This day I sat in a room, next to the gym where I saw my husband struggle with the smallest of tasks, during a time when I could not conceive how my life would ever be the same, and I looked at his face and smiled…beaming with pride at how far he’s come and the life we’ve built together.  I realize we are unique, and though there are definitely days I long for a ‘regular’ life…there are days like this day, when I am full of love and gratitude for the life I do have…with Matt. 

But yes, I do hate when he eats onions.


Emily said…
I love that picture! And look forward to witnessing the extra ease and comfort the new wheels will bring you both.

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