As I moved my power wheelchair off the elevator, I was stopped in a roadblock of people going through their NORMAL daily routines. A man, blocking a young lady in her wheelchair being assisted by another young lady, began speaking to the young lady in the wheelchair and saying, “Look into my eyes… Look into my eyes… One day you will be NORMAL again.”
After waiting the customary 30 seconds to see if the miracle was going to happen today, I began to voice my annoyance of being stopped in my NORMAL routine, especially since this was not the healing of the lepers’ line one could perceive it to be. And as we continued on I heard the young lady’s assistant say that her friend was NORMAL and for me that’s where the miracle would be found.
When people begin to stop judging others through their own fears and begin to take the time to look beyond what they associate with an abnormality in order to change their definition of what is actually NORMAL. Because this young lady in her wheelchair seemed pretty NORMAL to me; she was different, like everybody else. She was simply living her life like everyone else, and bravely I might add.
She was not hiding her differences from the world or feeling sorry for herself. She was not asking for anything, but this man somehow still felt compelled to donate his definition of being NORMAL. And that’s when I began to empathize thinking that if she did look into his eyes, she would see how blinded this individual truly was. But in hindsight she did not seem too annoyed by the whole experience.
And I began to realize that my frustrations, although warranted, would have been wasted in trying to argue all the reasons why this young lady was probably more NORMAL than the man she confronted coming off the elevator. I decided to do what I normally do in situations like this, which is to use it as a teaching moment and write about it in hopes to one day stop this from being a NORMAL situation.
I’m thankful for every hospital visit
Every visit to the house or nursing facility
Every time you’ve reached out and checked in
Every ounce of faith placed in my rehabilitation ability
I’m thankful for every one of you placed in my life
Every encouraging word made my motivation increase
But right now I’m sadly giving this special recognition
To uncle Pouplard as you begin your rest in peace
I’ve teamed up with Funddreamer.org to launch the ‘Rolling with Willie’ campaign and help support Willie’s mission on promoting disability advocacy and awareness for all abilities.
A portion of the money raised will go towards funding the sequel to Willie’s story of new adventures and experiences.
Your donation will also allow us to continue our tradition of donating a portion of the books to libraries, day cares, and some lucky children chosen at random throughout our travels to different events.
You can contribute by clicking the following link: http://www.funddreamer.org/campaigns/rolling-with-willie
Come see Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts 2014 crowned!
Admission is free!
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Massachusetts Hospital School
at the Finnegan’s Gym
3 Randolph St. Canton Ma 02021
disAbilities Expo 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Crowning Ceremony 3:00 pm – 4:00pm
Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts is NOT a beauty contest. Contestants are judged on their accomplishments, self-perception, and communication skills in the following:
• Personal Interviews
• On-stage Interviews
• Platform Speech
Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Expo – Highlights
• Mobility Product Vendors
• Non-profit organizations
• General Vendors
• Meet current and former Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Titleholders
Please visit the Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Foundation website for more information www.mswheelchairmass.org
or on facebook at www.facebook.com/mswheelchairmassfoundation.
Lunch may be reserved for $10 by March 7th.