I took a ride back from Portland a few days ago. I was with my mobility instructor, rosemary. Her and I have been through quite a few lessons together, and this particular trip back to Waterville, and back to my home, well, this was the final touches of my last mobility lesson.
Earlier that morning, I had started my day, wondering and worrying about what kind of a day lie just ahead of me. I sat in my house and thought back to the dozens of mobility lessons that I had taken part over the last twenty or so months. I reflected back on where I was, where I had been, and what I had gone through over the course of those months. I remembered the fears, the worries, the anxiety attacks, the good feelings, along with the bad. I remembered how far back those first few lessons seemed. I remembered how it felt the first time I put ecluders on, and started cracking away with my cane. I remembered the first time I went down a flight of stairs with my cane. I remembered trying to walk in a straight line across an open parking lot, and winding up walking around in a circle instead. I breathed in deep and remembered it all, all at once.
As I sat in Rosemary’s car, heading back home, we talked about all of the learning experiences. We talked about how different I was on that day, compared to how I was back in the summer of 2010. We talked about how I had grown, and matured, and how much I differed from that scared individual in those days back in 2010. She drove, and we continued to talk. I never realized how fast an hour and a half ride could go by, until then. In the blink of an eye, we were pulling into my driveway in Clinton, and the lesson was over. The thirty or forty experiences were over. I had finished my Orientation and Mobility program, and was the better for it.
Earlier that morning, as I sat in my house, preparing for the lesson, I got a sense that this lesson would be the end result of so many grueling, and difficult times out in the streets with my cane, and of course, Rosemary.
I was all set to carry out the plans that I had come up with to figure out how to get from my home, to the Apple Store in the Maine Mall in South Portland. I was going to have to take three different buses, and get help from individuals on multiple occasions during the trip. I had a few weeks to plan out this trip, and found that on a couple of occasions, I got twisted up in the method, and quite confused. I still have a hard time organizing things in my head, and usually have to stand back and think things through a few times before I feel comfortable with the results.
With all of the planning, and all of the worrying, the day finally came, and I was staring it right in the face. I realized that I was totally in charge of the days events, and it felt electrifyingly scary. I felt frightful that perhaps I had forgotten one or two critical steps that would end up totally throwing a bag of wrenches upon the days events. I still do worry allot that even though I work through and plan accordingly, that there will always be something that will be overlooked because I can not see it. I suppose that this uneasy feeling will follow me around for some time to come, and that I need to realize this and work through things with a more methodical approach.
As I stepped on board the last bus of the trip, the Portland Metro that took me from the Concord Coach Terminal in Portland, out to the Maine Mall, I breathed in a sigh of relief. I still had one more piece of the puzzle to slowly put in place, but I felt at that particular time, that I had done it. I had managed to plan and carry out a trip from my house, to the Maine Mall, where I was supposed to meet up with Rosemary.
Even though I couldn’t see any of what had taken place that day, I saw the movie playing out in my head as the day went along. I played that movie again and over and over, and relived that day a hundred times since then.
I know now that all of the experiences over the last couple years have all been worth it. All of the stumbling, and tripping, and bumping into things, they have all been worth it. All of the wrong turns, and the traffic lights, and the walk, don’t walk signals, and the turning traffic, and the sounds of chaotic confusion, they have all been worth it. All of the uneasy feelings, and the uncertain feelings, and the frightful moments, they have all been worth it. They have all led me to here, exactly where I need to be. Exactly where I have to start the rest of the journey from. exactly where the familiar becomes the unfamiliar, and all of the experience starts to take shape. Exactly, or a close facsimile.
I know that every time I leave my house, I will have another mobility lesson, and that I will always be in learning mode. It’s just the way my brain works now, and I am very grateful for that.
I owe so much of who I am, and what I am capable of doing to Rosemary. She showed me what I had inside me. She showed me that the frightened child inside could infact, come out and figure it all out. She showed me what I am capable of doing, and with the right guidance, how many obstacles and difficult problems I can work my way through. She showed me that there is always a way, and there is always a reason. She showed me how to stand tall and walk with purpose. She showed me that through it all, I am right where I am supposed to be.
I am right where I am supposed to be, and there are more places where I am supposed to go.
I will sweep with confidence, and walk tall with my cane as I go and find out where those places are. I truly believe that Rosemary will always be just two steps behind me as I make my way.
Love Ya Sarge! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.