From there I rolled down to the boardwalk. I sat, alone, watching the ocean waves crash against the shore. While I watched the sun slowly set on the ocean. The waves were pounding the shore with the rhythm of my beating heart. I was beginning to realize the ramifications of living in a wheelchair, no dancing; no high heels; no hiking; no beach-combing. The waves rise up, curl, then crash; drawing back into the sea. With each crash, it seemed to pull a piece of my life out to sea, no more. . . no more. ...
I couldn’t sleep. What going become of me. My first have to do is to find a way to support myself. At the Unemployment Office, the receptionist explains, “Since I am not able to work; I am not eligible for unemployment. If my accident was work related, then I could file for Workman’s Compensation. “No. It’s not.” I sighed with great disappointment.
I slipped on the stairs, on my way down to the basement. “There is no liability,” The insurance agent, quickly informs me.” Anybody can fall down the stairs.”
“I am not just ‘anybody’,” with great indignation, I responded. “I am a Sign Painter and Window Artist, as such, I am accustomed to stand on the stairs and on ladders every day.”
It seems as though, I am battling windmills, going round and round and getting nowhere. My next stop is the Social Security office. “To meet the eligibility requirements, ‘a person must have an injury or illness that is expected to last more than one year.’ I 'm sorry but at this time, you are not disabled enough". Responded to the receptionist.
“Being stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of my life, is not enough! ”
A couple of wee...
... middle of paper ...
...is speechless. With tears in his eyes, he reaches out to kiss my hand. To me that kiss was a greater than words could ever express. As I turned to walk away, his friends helped him into his new chair.
It took six months to get my life is back on track. . .it seemed like an eternity. I have walked a mile in their shoes. Never again will I turn a blind eye to those in need.
There are too many battles to fight. Those of us who can, need to stand, to reach out, to be the voice for those who can’t. Become the voice of the invisible. Laws and regulations are not immovable. Government agencies must not be allowed to use their power us to turn us into victims. Nor should non-profit agencies be allowed to toss us aside like garbage.
A kind deed or a word or even a smile can brighten someone’s day. If we take a moment out of our busy lives, we can change someone’s life.
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