The big box

My first wheelchair, and what it meant to me.

             I WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD WHEN THE BIG BOX CAME.  I’D BEEN WAITING FOR THIS MOMENT FOR MONTHS.  Soon I would be able to go places by myself and move around at school.  I was getting my first wheelchair (and you thought getting a bicycle was exciting)!  Mommy and Daddy took it out of the box.  It seemed so big and it was shiny.  Daddy had gone to Grand Jct. to pick it up from Mesa Orthopedic. I was so excited.  They unfolded it and put down the footrests.  Then they lifted me into it.  It was so big.  My feet didn’t come anywhere near reaching the footrests and I could barely get my arms over the arms of the chair to reach the wheels.  I tried to push it but, alas, it was way too big for me.  I was so disappointed; freedom closed the doors.  The chair had to go back from whence it came. 

            Months passed.  If you have ever had to deal with getting durable medical items you know they are in no hurry.  At that time, Everest and Jennings was the only show in town and they could hold their clientele hostage.

 I turned nine.  No one mentioned the wheelchair again.  Then, to my amazement, Daddy came home with another big box, much like the one with the wheelchair.  He lifted a wheelchair out of it.  It was much smaller, a new design called The Tiny Tot.  I fit in it.  !  It took me about ten minutes to learn how to move it, turn it, park it and discover you could really hurt your fingers if you got too close to door jams.  I could see the tops of things (like the kitchen table).  I didn’t have to hide under the table in fear someone would step on me. I was free

            At school the teachers reported to my parents that I was a different child.  I was happier and found ways to be mischievous.  The best thing was, I could take notes to other teachers’ rooms like the other kids.  (I found out later that my third grade teacher manufactured reasons for me to take notes). 

            I could play outside as long as there was light and even run away from home if I was mad.  The problem was, no one ever came to find me. 


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