Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Twenty Feet of Freedom

Last week, my 4-year old, wheelchair-bound nephew (Jay) got some moves… or more succinctly, an electric wheelchair. This is the first time he’s been able to move on his own volition since he was two years old (before he ailments caught up to him). This was exciting. I’ve been getting reports from my parents and sister that Jay is smiling a lot more, loves to mosey into the kitchen, and run into my father… (he makes a big deal out of being hurt and offended by the whole thing)… It makes Jason laugh, so it’s all good.

Last week, my sister called me. She was distressed. It seems that Jason’s been a little under the weather. For you and I, a little cold isn’t a big deal. When you’re on a ventilator like Jason is, colds are kind of serious. Anyway, Jason asked if he could drive his wheelchair outside and wait for his brother. My sister said, “No, but you may park by the door and watch for him.” Since Jason has always been very easy to contain, I’m sure my sister didn’t think much of this – so she left the room.

Jason, given his first opportunity to disobey his momma, had a choice: freedom or obedience. He chose freedom. He bumped right through the front screen door, and down the ramp, heading to the great (and cold) unknown with determination and just a little bit of “whaddaya think of me now, Mom?!!”

Imagine my sister’s chagrin, when just a moment later, she re-enters the living room. No Jason. The door is wide open. He’s sick. There’s traffic out there – and weirdo’s…

Meanwhile, imagine my nephew’s chagrin, when moments after tasting his first draft of independent thought, finds himself securely lodged in a snowbank, where his wheelchair got stuck. (about 20 feet from the house).

My sister had to call the neighbor to dislodge the chair… and to Jay’s continued chagrin, kept him on the couch for the remainder of the day.

“Don’t worry,” I said to my sister, “One day this will be funny…”


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