The first day of the new schedule turned out reasonably well. I survived without any major interruptions and only ended wanting more time because I am forever and always running out of time. Such is the life of a paraplegic. Not too shabby for the first day and I promised myself to keep on rolling.
As I prepare to host Mother's Day brunch tomorrow and ponder how quickly the years fly by, I think back to last year and remember a story I love. This story has little to do with mothers, only that it happens on Mother's Day weekend. It's a story about humor and finding it even when it is difficult.
Laughter helps pain tremendously. I find it easy to make jokes about my situation so I don't take it so seriously. I never mean to make others uncomfortable, rather I use it as a good dose of healthy medicine. And honestly, the jokes I can make about not walking are endless. One of my favorites, I slip it in amidst a conversation about the amount of available chairs, is don't worry about me, I bring my own chair. I usually turn a head and see shock followed by laughter. It's just a fun way to make something so heavy seem a bit lighter.
Last year, the day before Mother's Day to be exact, my neighbor and good friend's identical twin brother, Matt, and Matt's boyfriend, Qasim, drove from New York City to surprise Matt and Mark's mom. Mark spent the evening in my kitchen trying to unclog my sink. Matt tasked me with the job of keeping Mark awake so he and Qasim could surprise him as well. The sink backed up and my job to keep Mark awake took on a life of its own. Matt and Qasim arrived shortly after midnight and craved a bit of food. Since Mark and I spent the evening working on a sink, we seconded their wish. We ordered a pizza and sat around the table quickly devouring the cheese and pepperoni delicacy. The one and only rule I require of my guests is to help themselves to a drink. It is partly in place because I want everyone to feel at home in my space, but also because it takes me way too long to fix drinks and pass them out. Wheeling around with drinks isn't the easiest and time efficient task. In a hurried preparation as we awaited the delivery of the pizza, I apparently neglected to share this rule. And as we all were eating and chatting, I noticed Matt did not have a drink.
Instead of asking what drink he would like, I turned to him and said, "I would fix you a drink, but I'm in a wheelchair and can't walk."
Matt knows me well enough to know my statement was a joke. I knew he wouldn't be offended, but I had no idea he would be able to give it back to me so well. There are very few people who return my sarcasm, but Matt not only returned it, he excelled at returning it.
Without hesitation, Matt looked at Qasim and motioned, "Hey Qasim, why don't you wheel Sarah on over to the kitchen so she can fix me a drink?"
It has been a year and I still laugh as hard as I did the day it happened. I think of it randomly and end up in fits of tear filled laughter. Laughter truly is the best medicine.