Going Up? Nope.
I’m thinking we are fiercly independent creatures by nature, that it’s less of a Yankee thing and more of a human thing. The toddler that shrieks, “do it MYSELF” becomes the adult who dismissively says, “I’ve got this.” We miss out on so many incredible experiences if we live life that way.
In Disability World I believe we’re smacked in the face with being both overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of what it means to survive and thrive here and the lack of resources to actually do so. For example, my health insurance first said that Aidan’s shower chair was a convenience item, as in, it’s not really necessary to go to the bathroom or stay clean so we won’t help you with that. Um, what?
There is, of course, a sense of swallowing pride when asking for help. While it’s not exactly the truth, it still feels horrible to say, “I simply can’t provide for my child. Will you help me?” And help comes in so many strange and wonderful ways. I’ve needed friends to come to doctor’s appointments to be another set of ears. I’m remembering the friend who brought a cooler with Corona and stayed in a hotel with me because an appointment was far away. And the friend who took me for a makeover when Aidan came home from the hospital because my life was in shambles.
The help I’ve received has done so much to both encourage me that I’m not alone, and feel hopeful that this world really is a loving and welcoming place for Aidan. I’ve also learned that people want a way into our lives that doesn’t necessarily have to do with taking care of Aidan directly. Every bit is appreciated.
So, I’m having to humble myself and ask yet again. I’m not loving it, but it’s necessary. Aidan’s lift (outdoor elevator) is broken. We can actually afford to replace the part, but this is the second time we’ve had to replace it and the lift is 10 years old. The smarter decision is to update now before we find ourselves literally stuck again. It costs $5,000 to replace and will take 6 weeks to order. Can we raise that much in that amount of time? Will you help? I’ve started a fancy fundraising page HERE where it is safe and secure to make a donation through WePay. Would you share this post or the fundraising page and let people know how you know me? Would you consider making a donation? Feel free to ask me questions. I’ve anticipated a few….
You’re always bragging about Aidan’s walking and how he can even climb stairs and now you’re telling us he needs a lift?
Yes, indeed, and as his mom I will continue to brag. But let me give you a more accurate picture. He walks with assistance, as in, I’m holding onto him. Walking on a flat surface is a completely different activity from climbing stairs. Aidan can climb stairs, but sometimes he needs help planting his foot or keeping it from getting caught in the lip of the step and sometimes he leans back onto me before stepping up which makes us both unsteady. It’s just not safe. And he can’t climb down stairs at all. I have to carry him.
This is super un-sexy. It’s not a life saving surgery or alternative therapy or even a crazy huge medical bill we would never expect anyone to be able to pay.
True. It’s actually just a hunk of metal and wires. Super un-sexy. Unfortunately, it’s not a convenience item. It’s a necessity and one that isn’t covered by insurance. While it would be appropriate to cover this out of our rainy day fund, our rainy day fund is more the size of a misty morning.
Aren’t you the person who gets everything all the time?
Er, um, well, yes. Let’s name the elephant in the room GRATITUDE, shall we? I had no idea how we would ever purchase a wheelchair accessible van for Aidan until a friend came along and said, “We’ll just do it. We’ll have fundraisers and get it done.” We raised $40K in six months. It was crazy. I was astounded by the generousity of total strangers. It’s actually what got me to start this blog and share our story which has resulted in me being able to help other parents along the way.
I actually didn’t ask for help after that but another friend came along and said, “In a perfect world what would be one thing you would change about your house to make it easier to take care of Aidan?” Well, that was a ridiculous question because while I would have loved to have had an accessible bathroom for him, there was nowhere to build it. You can’t make something out of nothing. Or can you? Approximately 7 months later we had a remodelled home with an accessible bathroom. Friends and strangers came together to build and work and construct and stuff. I loved meeting people and hearing their stories and the results changed our lives again.
So, yes, that’s me and it makes it all the more awkward to come forward again and ask for help. But I have to remember what I’ve learned. People are exceedingly more generous than we realize. They want to be part of someone else’s story. We are meant to do life together.
While there won’t be an actual fundraising event for this lift or even a very well thought out campaign, I would like to make this one offer – to anyone who is able to donate $500 or more, my husband Garreth would be honored to hand turn you a burl bowl. It’s a unique and especially beautiful kind of wood and a small token of our appreciation.