Much More than a Wheel Chair
I find myself struggling to verbalise –that which I really think and feel when I look at her face. Her eyes- they say…. “Words don’t come easy …how can I find a way to make you see……” I think, no! rather, I know, that I hear every word, though unvoiced, spoken so distinctly. Where were you? she asks, when I return after a spur-of-the-moment errand which I had left her unprepared for. That beam of recognition that lights up her countenance cannot be mistaken for anything else but a ‘I know who you are!’ It is reinstated by a quick grab, a spontaneous reaching out for the hand of the one identified. It so damagingly injures at that point when I hear the inattentive– “remember (so and so….)?” But of course she does! Can it not be realised that under no circumstance would she reach out for a stranger?
The glimmer of mischief that is emitted when she is at her playful best, the well defined scowl at a dislike of whatever is before her. The thump of her hand on the Table or Chair she sits on, tells me she needs something urgently. Depending on the time of day or the circumstances around her, my guess is rarely mistaken.
How often do we ask, right in her presence, whether she comprehends what is being said or spoken around her? ‘Are we’, pops the question in my head, the physically able, ‘ instead the insensate ones, numb of grasp or perception ?’ Her motor reflexes have slowed down yes, but her taking the help of another and the wheelchair to make getting around easier ,has not incapacitated her from being part of conversations ( though one-sided). Primary and crucial it is, that we make it our key effort to keep her abreast in our tete-a tete’s. Many a thrill I have experienced when I get a sudden stifled laugh instinctively break out at a funny incident or occurrence in our interactions or on screen.
A question thrown at her, always gives me every acknowledgement and answer with her ‘tap- tapping’ on my shoulder or upper arm. Her touching my cheek assures me that she still recognises me, youngest of her three younger siblings and tells me that she loves me so.
So sensitive to every loving word spoken, she responds so naturally reacting just as would every other person with feelings. Sobs and tears spill out aptly as does rage on cue as spurred.
Dear Reader, today what I started out to say was just this – as hard as it might be at times, I wouldn’t trade it for the world – I am blessed to not have missed out on all the joys that all these awesome things that a person like my sister has to offer.
Not a burden, nor an inconvenience. I’m so appreciative of the fact that I am a full part of this stage of her life where we can still share these little joys we find in our everyday interactions – the good still lives through the bad.
The quality of a life cannot be judged without knowing about it. Let us not judge too quickly from appearances. The outside is not always what it seems – explore the inside and you’ll discover a world of happiness there.
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