Thursday, September 03, 2009

What IS Normal, Anyway?

I once heard that "normal" is only a setting on a dryer--not on humans, and I'm beginning to believe that! None of us are untouched by trials or get through life without pain of some kind. Suffering is merely one side of a coin, we each get to experience the other side of the coin as well, if we so choose--peace and contentment.

And really, if you think about it, there's no such thing as a family that ISN'T dysfunctional in some way! Some just know how to function better with the dysfunction than others.

No matter how "normal" I try to act, I realize that I am NOT normal when it comes to my health. Someone called it "handicapable" rather than "handicapped." I don't care what you call it, but it is inconvenient! Today I tried going to the post office. A rather "normal" task, right? Wrong! I had three crates of pre-stamped packages to drop off. I got the bright idea of taking my briefcase roller bag, thinking I could put one crate on TOP of the case, and use the rollers as a way to get the crate inside, allowing my other hand to hold the cane.

Since I thought I was closer to "normal" I had let my temporary handicapped parking placard expire and so I couldn't park in the handicapped parking spot. But I needed that ramp to roll the crate up to the sidewalk. So, I parked on the other side of the parking lot and had to roll the crate across the uneven surface where the cars drive through, to get to the building. Of course in the middle of the busiest spot the wheel caught a bump and the entire crate toppled over, spilling the precious cargo all around my feet. Cars had to stop because of this crazy woman in the middle of the drive, with scattered white padded packing envelopes surrounding me like spilt milk. I dropped my cane to the ground and picked up the packages, placing them back in the crate, and thought I'd try once again to make it to the door, but the roller bag crumpled under the weight.

A Good Samaritan witnessed my plight and came over to carry my crate to the counter for me. What a gentleman! And the postmaster watched my crazy stunt, so when I confessed I still had two more crates of packages to bring in, he loaned me a hand-truck to use. So, I rolled it and the busted roller bag back out to the car, and again worked diligently to position the crate on the cart to roll inside. I forgot to mention there was police tape cordoning off the largest portion of the sidewalk in front of the post office due to the glass getting shot out this week, so I had to go the LONG way to get to the door. No shortcuts in life, right?!

So, each time I made it to the door, more Good Samaritans opened the door for me so I could make it inside. What a sight I must have been, me with my cane in one hand, the cart toting these crates in the other hand, and sweat pouring off the back of my neck.

All of that because I didn't want to admit I'm "challenged" and ask my husband or someone else to drop off these crates at the post office!

Maybe I need to readjust my thinking about my normal status after all!

Kathy Carlton Willis (copyright 2009)