When Carol Roark came to get me for supper tonight, I felt like a teenage girl on her first date. I had warned Carol that getting me out of the house was a difficult process but she plunged ahead, called it “extricating” me. Jordan stood by for advice and counsel, but Carol did it all—as my kids used to say, “by self.”
First I have to transfer from walker to wheelchair—a lightweight transport chair. This requires someone to hold the wheelchair steady while I pivot on my good foot. Then just getting the chair over the doorsill is a project that often has me tilted at crazy angles and Jordan cautioning, “Keep your arms in.” Then it’s down a steep makeshift ramp, across some plywood boards, and down a small drop to the driveway.
Getting into a car is also a process. The wheelchair has to be pulled up close to the seat, as head-on as possible. Once again, I pull myself up on the good foot and try to pivot until I can back onto the car seat. At times I can’t help but do a little hop-step on the weak foot. Once on the seat though, I can slide myself around and all is well. I’ve done serious study of cars—no way I can get into Jordan’s Forerunner, even the Lexus Suburban that Christian had briefly was a bit high. On the other hand, Jamie has a Porsche sports car—I’m afraid if I get down in it, I may never get back up. He’s taking me to a doctor appt. Tuesday so we’ll see.
Carol and I met Lon, her husband, at the Old Neighborhood Grill where aside from the fact that Lon drank half my wine before we told him which was mine and which was his, all was well. We had a pleasant visit and a good supper. My neighbor Jay (yes the good-looking one) came along, and the visit got longer. Then it was time to reverse the process.
Carol wanted to make sure she had the strength to push me back up the ramp, so both Jay and Lon stood at the ready, though Carol insisted she wanted to do it herself. When I was safely back in the house, she said, “This proves that we can do more outings.”
Not sure why I’m so blessed with friends, but I think it’s a great gift to me that she cares enough to learn the process and to plan on getting me out again. I am eternally grateful.
In Tomball I had lunch in restaurants twice, but Colin, who makes me feel so safe, was there. This was my first outing for supper and with someone who is not immediate family—well, close. It was good to be out in the world, and I hope to go more often now. I’ve always said I enjoy my solitude, but I also need the stimulation of people and good conversation. Thanks to Carol for giving me that opportunity, widening my world, and making me know that I will once again someday be able to come and go.