I have just returned from a trip to Ireland; it has taken me over a year to do it.
Until now I simply haven’t had the emotional strength to accomplish it, as the
only way it was possible was with the aid of a wheelchair.
As I “grow into” managing chronic illness, I am re-learning the process of
acceptance with all its complexities. The biggest thing I have learned so far
is to have compassion for myself. The numerous hurdles will be cleared
when it is their time; I have ceased berating myself for taking “too long” to
accomplish the next thing. One of these next things is to actually own a
wheelchair rather than hire one. This may or may not happen soon.
I just need to keep chipping away at my part of the process.
The following poem was written in Ireland after my first long wheelchair “trek”.
A Wheelchair Called Wilmer
It was definitely on its last wheels,
heavily weighed down with ghost scars,
years of invisible struggles piled,
precarious, on an old sagging seat.
If I hadn’t been so heavily reliant,
I would have jumped off and
helped it into the lift.
Then a waitress on the ferry
knocked it as she passed.
It quivered like a frightened dog
and I felt sad.
A strange feeling of empathy
washed over me and I reached out
and touched it, gave it a name.
I told her not to fret and said
this time she could travel light.
There would be no scars left by me;
this was going to be a good trip.