Well, I did it folks. No, I'm not walking, though I'm not giving up on miracles yet, whether they are from science or from some "other source", the big news is that I have made another significant move towards independence. Yesterday, I went out into the big, wide world all on my own, and you know what? It was exhilarating (and surprisingly easy). The whole point of me and Trevor moving across the bay to Berkeley became crystal clear as I shut the door behind me, turned the key(with my special adaptive key device) and pushed my power assisted wheelchair down the long hallway, to the elevator and out.. the.. door. Freedom! Say what you want about Mel Gibson, but I felt like that dude in Braveheart as he bellowed out, "they'll never take our freedom!" So I say to this disability!
My first foray consisted of getting picked up by Paratransit which is a bus system for us disabled folks. It requires making an advance reservation, but it's door to door transportation for very little cost. I went to a safe place, this new building call the Ed Roberts Campus that is home to many non-profits focused on disability issues and one organization has yoga classes. It was my intention to go to a yoga class, but alas, it was cancelled. Instead I checked out the facilities and enjoyed reading my book and chatting on the phone on the roof deck, shaded by an umbrella as the trees swayed in the breeze. I was picked up a few hours later and delivered promptly to my doorstep by the driver. Success!
Trevor had at first been a little wary to let me venture forth without a dress rehearsal, but as the saying goes, "Life ain't no dress rehearsal!" In the end, Trevor was encouraging and proud and we celebrated yet another achievement.
So, where do I go from here? I have my laundry list of things to accomplish and as I check things off I will continue to add things on. I recently read Christopher Reeve's autobiography, Still Me, and yes, I found myself crying with abandon at many of the passages as he wrote with such honesty. At the end, he reflects on how painful it is knowing he will never be able to do so many of the physical things he enjoyed doing, so he tries to not to linger on the past, but to "live as fully as possible in the present," no matter how difficult it may be. Sound words of advice from an inspiring man.