Today I lifted my very heavy baby out of his wheelchair, up the two steps, over one seat and into his car seat. I realized that I was going to have to do this process differently very soon. He’s getting too heavy for me to dead lift like that.
As I was hoisting his wheelchair into the back of the van, I was hot and sweaty and breathing a bit harder. I was ready to get into the van and rest.
At this exact moment in time, a mom and her daughter arrived at the parking spot next to me. The mom was about 5’2” and 120 pounds. The daughter was about 5’8” and probably 250 pounds. She was in a virtual vegetative state and the wheelchair was completely reclined. Their car was TINY. I couldn’t imagine how she hoisted this daughter into that car by herself.
I did a very rude thing. I watched. I didn’t gawk. I didn’t stare. But I had to see. Not because I was a voyeur but because I realized that it could be me with Manny one day.
The daughter had a military belt ... like this:
The mother raised the chair fully upright. She lowered the daughter’s legs from the foot braces. She got the chair as close to the car as she could. She took a deep breath. She hoisted her into the seat by the belt. It was a truly professional job. I was amazed. Impressed. Awed.
The mother is one of those millions of unsung heros. She does an amazing job every freaking day of her life. A horribly difficult job. A thankless job. And endless job.
So to the mother I saw today, I hope you know that you are an angel here on earth. I know you’re just putting one foot in front of the other. You muster up all the strength you need moment by moment. And some days I know you cry. And some days you celebrate. But every day you love. I just want you to know that a total stranger is proud of you. Prayers were said for you today. It was an honor to see love in action today. May God bless you.