My Sister (and her rockin’ husband)

detail of ceramic sculpture

In my lifetime there have been a few precious marks in time

During which I was fully aware things would never go back to ‘normal.’

I’m talking pivotal shifts in the architecture of life.

The one I’ll share here today ranks right up there with the very best of them.


A GOOD STORY – by Cathy

Once upon a time there was a girl with a tattered grey Subaru.

The seat covers were worn and the paint was peeling.

It was a well-loved car but tired and quite small.

You see, this girl sometimes used a wheelchair; powerful and black and very, very heavy.

The girl liked this chair as it gave her freedom

But her little car would not hold it

And so…

She left it at home and didn’t get to go to the Farmer’s market or Target

Because there was too much walking involved in those excursions.

And so,

She swallowed and moved on to other things.

One day not so long ago,

The girl’s sister called to say

She and her husband had shipped the kids off to college

And had a shiny, black Honda MINIVAN THEY WANTED TO GIFT THE GIRL!

They lived in New Jersey and sent the beautiful van on a truck to a place in Albuquerque

And some guys there installed a very cool lift that automatically grabs her wheelchair and smoothly eases it into the van.

The girl couldn’t use her right leg very well anymore

And the guys put in a foot pedal powering both the gas and brake from the left

So she could be safe and strong and feel sexy driving in her new shiny black van.

This gift means freedom to the girl.

There is nowhere she can not go.

She feels proud and very, very loved driving this shining and elegant automobile

Sent to her from her sister (and her rockin’ husband).

It was a GIANT love present!

When one does not have freedom

And in the next moment it is there,

“THAT! ” said the girl,

“Is mighty good medicine…”

And with that, the girl who had tastefully rouged her face,

And painted her lips red,

Sat in that minivan

And smelled the leather seats,

And wriggled in pleasure as those seats heated up

Warming her in the bitter winter chill.

She popped that van into DRIVE

While she cautiously pressed down on the new left-side gas pedal

And thought about the wide aisles at Target

Where she was headed that day

Just because

She could.


9 Responses to “My Sister (and her rockin’ husband)”

  1. Bibliotekaren on January 21st, 2011

    Mighty sweet! So happy for you Cathy.

  2. Barry on January 21st, 2011

    Congrats on such an awesome gift. Believe me I understand at the core level the magnitude of not only that gift, but the level of love that gave it.
    Your introductory paragraph reminded me of the eulogy I spoke at my mother’s memorial service and I’d like to share it with you:

    I was watching a movie the other night and the romantic lead described the first kiss with his wife as a moment when life as he knew it ended. There are a lot of those moments in life – some are small like learning to ride a bike or getting your drivers license. Others are larger – like getting married or getting divorced. Like you I’ve had many of these moments in my life and my mother contributed to many of them through her teachings and shared in most of the others because I was her son. I shared in some of hers as well – her husband passing, her coming to live with me and her cancer journey.

    Last wednesday Life as I knew it ended. As I informed family and friends of the event, at least seven told me “you know she was a mother to me too.” And because of the importance she had in the lives of others in this room, I know for you too, Life as you knew it has ended. I can only suggest we remember the good times and for me her teachings will continue to guide me, her expectations will continue to push me, and her courage will continue to inspire me. And I know I’ll still be talking to her from time to time.

    I shared this with you because of gift your openness is to me daily and it’s my attempt to give a little back.

    fondly, Barry

  3. Laura Hegfield on January 21st, 2011

    A miraculous gift…I feel joy in your joy!!! (and a little sadness, wishing I could drive too:(

    but mudita most of all…hooray for you!!!!

  4. Muff on January 21st, 2011

    Well, aren’t you the lucky, lucky girl!! So happy that you have your “freedom” again! Enjoy the places you’ll now be able to visit.

  5. Karen on January 21st, 2011

    Funny, big life changing moments all look to me like on coming tragedies before I assimilate them. Pregnancy, my parents’ illnesses and deaths, bankruptcy … In each case, I reacted to the shift by thinking my life was ‘over’, and in many ways I was right. But it turned out not to be true at all, in any way important to me.In hindsight, these were all huge opportunities, once I accepted the changes they made to my existence.

    I’ve been waiting two years to feel that way about ms. I got my first glimmers of attitude adjustment here, over the past few days, as I read through your blog. It’s a good feeling, and I thank you for it.

    I’m glad you got a slick ride. For practical reasons, and for the good feeling of being on the receiving end of all that love and generosity.

  6. Judy on January 21st, 2011

    Great story. Great gift. Great outcome. Now, my question: where do you suggest I start to look into that left foot conversion? Thanks.

  7. Carol S. on January 21st, 2011

    Sensational news! I have a gray/silver Honda minivan and they ROCK! What a gift, I bet you’re as good a sister and sister-in-law as they are! Hope Barry reads this….Barry, what an amazing Mother of yours, and what a grateful son you are. Moving tribute to your mom.

  8. Laura Hegfield on January 24th, 2011

    are you still out joy riding??? sending you love dear one…hoping all is well as you’ve not posted in a few days.

  9. Carmen A. on January 25th, 2011

    So happy for you, Cathy!

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