“All I want for Christmas is…”

to walk without the rollator. I have been practising at home with one fore-arm crutch, and while I can get around the house within reach of walls or counters, I’m not confident enough yet to walk outdoors with just the crutch for support. It is still dismaying to feel incipient panic at the sight of all that open space with nothing to hang onto. I wish it were just a question of ‘mind over matter’, but in this case the ‘matter’ (my leg) is missing, and that won’t change.

to dance the New Year in with my husband. He has had to sacrifice so much for me over the past few years and it would be wonderful to be able to get on the dance floor again with him. He loves dancing – we both do – so this year we’re going to give it a try. We may have to maneuver with the crutch or the rollator, if necessary, and we’ll definitely stick to the slow dances. No more jiving for me – even soca would be beyond my limits!

to feel safe crossing the road. The timer on traffic lights is usually too short for me to get from one side of the road to the other. And the other day at the mall I had to pause in the middle of the crosswalk because no less than three cars drove through it without stopping. Obviously road manners are a thing of the past. Also, I’m getting rather annoyed by the number of drivers who park illegally in disabled parking spaces, with no disabled badges showing. Often it is sheer laziness – I have seen able-bodied people park and walk into KFC. Is nobody checking up on these things?

to be grateful for the kindness of strangers. At entrance doors without a disability access button, three out of every four strangers will hold the door open for me to go in or come out. I think these are pretty good odds, and make a point of thanking them. In a crowd, most people will make way for me as I move, whether in a wheelchair or on the rollator. Interestingly, when I am stationary in the wheelchair, I seem to become invisible to the people around. Generally, however, people are very considerate.

May you have a safe and happy holiday season too!

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