A few weeks ago, I was trapped. That’s not an understatement or an over-dramatizations of a moment. Totally trapped and all I could do was laugh.
Now, once more bear with me, dear reader, there is a point to this (even if it’s only in my own head).
I was about an hour away from home, in a small town just barely in the border of the GTA, called Bowmanville. I had pulled over into the parking lot of a Tim Horton’s to take a call from a client. No big deal. Turned off my car, but left the power on for the bluetooth, something I’ve done dozens of times. Bluetooth is no danger to the battery. Finished up the call, checked my mail, went to turn the engine back on and…nothing…click click click click…
I know, I know…it’s just a dead battery. Happens all the time! You get out of the car, grab your booster cables, ask someone for a quick jolt or at worst call whatever roadside assistance you’ve got. Thankfully, the latter worked for me…because the former requires you to actually be able to get out of your car. No power means no way to open the power sliding door that can only open with…power. It can’t be opened manually. No power means the lift that locks your wheelchair in place can’t be pushed out to release it. No power means that this wonderful car, designed to keep me mobile and independent…now has me trapped. Long story short, roadside arrived, boosted me and I was back on the road in about an hour, heading home to not risk another power issue…but…I couldn’t stop laughing.
Before I even called Shannon to let her know that she might have a very long drive coming if it was more than just a battery issue…I started laughing. Just laughing at the wind, as my driver’s side window was down and it was 2 degree celsius outside. I had to laugh. When I got hold of Shannon, she just started giggling. She told me later she was in her staff room and got a lot of weird looks. I later found out that one co-worker said he was upset just hearing about it, how could we laugh?
It’s a valid question really. People hear us relate a story that they didn’t even think about how we would handle and they look at us goggle-eyed (yes that’s a thing). How can we laugh at it? At this point, we are so used to SOMETHING going wrong that we’ve had to make a decision. We can take what comes and either cry at how unfair it is…or you can give the universe the middle finger and laugh at it. We’ve decided on choice number two.
There are so many little situations that can happen like this. An elevator stopping between floors. Power going out on the third floor of an office, the ground so near, yet so far. That restaurant you have to meet a client in, that only has steps to get into it. A chair tire going flat just as some workers arrive to install four new windows in your house (yes that happened). The chair ending up broken at the end of a flight returning home from vacation…or god forbid it happening at the start of the trip. The chair (I really need to name it…Lola? Marvin? Melvin?) has become so vital to my freedom, that losing it in any way hits to the core. It is the reminder of what I have lost with these legs that refuse to obey. It’s easy to give in to despair over that at times…but we…and it’s important that it is WE, have decided that isn’t going to be the crutch, the breaking point, the last straw.
There is always a way to work through any dilemma that being “trapped” comes with. There is always a way to laugh in the face of it, shake your head in wonder, swear up a blue streak to make a sailor blush and tell it nope, “I’m winning this round.” In this case, it was waiting and shivering while awaiting a tow truck…Bob’s Towing. Seriously, Bob from Bowmanville came to my rescue. In the past, it has been calling for help to get up from a fallen chair, or crawling on the floor to find a spot to prop yourself up in stages back to the chair, or having strangers carry you down a flight of stairs, relying on their kindness and humanity to help you.
You have to find the humour in it. The adventure in it. The puzzle to be solved. The lesson to be learned (for me it was damn well remember to leave my car ON when using the lift and power door). This is how we’ve come to deal with it. Doesn’t mean anything special…but it does dovetail into another post…finding the humour in all things, no matter how inappropriate. It’s what keeps me going. Though…it doesn’t do much to warm you up I’ll admit.