Visit with Gamma and Gampa: Pt I

7 Mar

Hi Family –

(This post is LONG overdue, but Dad has had a LOT happening at work.)

I just got back from a long weekend. It was a Thursday through Monday trip to Florida. The trip was great. I had a barrel of fun, but there is some back story to this trip and a lot of ups and and downs to share. So, as I mentioned, the back story: This trip had been canceled at least twice over the past year. It was originally scheduled for the human puppies’ spring break, last year. We were still in Connecticut, then and planned to drive down. Dad had bought the roof rack crossbars for my Pilot and planned to get a luggage box so we’d have cabin space. That trip was canceled when the human puppies’ biological dad was sick, and on top of that, a basement monster got sick and needed daily medication and care. The next time we canceled the trip we wanted to spend a couple days this past Christmas break but the accounting just didn’t add up with all we’ve been up to over the past year or so. I was a sad puppy because I really wanted to spend time with my Gamma and Gampa (Dad’s parents). I had only met them at my human cousin’s Bat Mitzvah. (What fun! But, we’ve talked about that in a previous post.) It’s true, we have done lots this year, but we really wanted to make a point of going to see our family.

Mom found a flight that worked for everyone, so a couple weeks of planning and we were ready. Mom was able to find a a caretaker for the cats in Miss Tari. (She is the associate minister at our church.) Miss Tari loves me so she agreed to look in on my kittens. This was really no small request, Our old lady, Lucy, requires at least two visits a day, because if she eats too much in one sitting she gets sick. The other problem is that the kittens will eat everything that is put down if you don’t watch them. It is wonderful to have friends. We couldn’t leave town without everyone that helps us.

Based off of our last experience with airports I reminded Mom and Dad what it was like finding relief areas in the short layover windows. Dad remembers all too well, the run from one end of an airport to other. Going outside, and then back in; going through security again, and then barely making a connection. This time we made a decision to drive 5.5 hours to Dallas to get us on a direct flight and then drive 2 more hours to our destination. This was a good trade off of time because it ended up being much cheaper, and much less stress for Dad and I. This is not to say that we had an uneventful time navigating the airports and their staff.

We got parked at Dallas Love field, after the drive, that I may have mentioned took 5.5 hours! Then we began the trek to the ticketing area. I have no idea who decided to put the parking so far from ticketing and security. I suppose it was good to stretch out a bit before boarding. We finally made it and all entered the line to check bags and get boarding passes. The agents were all busy helping those ahead of us so an agent directed us to a self check kiosk. Great, now just to drop our bags and… wait what?! Another agent stops us and tells Dad that he and I need to go to the counter?! Mom tells her no and Dad says, “The dog comes with me,” and we all walk on. I think she was stunned; it was funny. We made our way through TSA, easy as kibble. After all of this with our pre-board pass in hand it is time to board. We made our way to the plane and there were people already in both bulkhead rows. Mom steps in and explain, to a flight attendant that I am behind her and we need one of those rows. She tells us that NOBODY IS MOVING! OK, well, that just made life SO easy. Dad ended up in the middle of an aisle, next to a huge guy that wouldn’t stop moving. I won’t share much more here, other than to say the airline will be getting a letter got a letter about the flight attendant because she continued to be very rude.

More to come soon…

International Day of Acceptance

20 Jan

Today is January 20th. We celebrate today as a International Day of acceptance. This “social experiment” was started by Annie Hopkins, who founded 3E Love. You can read more about her and the day at https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/day-of-acceptance/. It is a quick read so please check it out.

I’ll wait here.

If you’ve been a reader for awhile you probably know this about me; for most of my life I was, what I’ll call – A disability denier. This was a way of thinking about my own disability that allowed me, if only in my head, to be “normal”. I even go as far to use a common phrase for people who are getting to know me and have tendency to be protective or want to help mitigate what they see as a difficult situation. I say this:

I’m fine. If I need a hand I will tell you. Ignore the fact that I walk or move differently and sooner than later you will forget about it.

I have several people I can refer you to who will tell you that they have heard me say this. They accept it because I give them no choice. I have friends who laugh with me about it over time because they are in awe how they do actually forget, and there are times that I have to ask for help with a comment something like “Hey, dude! CP here…Little help?” we chuckle at the “Oh yeah, sorry, forgot” response.

This, to me sums up how I have nurtured acceptance in my life. I did this because my parents were strong enough to let me fail. My Father was strong enough to say to me “…the only disability you have is in your own head…”

Honestly, I only started to embrace my disability very recently and mostly through Lauri and Casper. I have learned that they are great gifts to me. Lauri has taught me the power of words. Casper has taught me the power of silence and presence.

There are a great many people out in the world with all levels of disability. Please, as you go through your day working with your own disability (spoiler: we all have one if you think about it) be respectful and kind. Try and remember that you can be the light in someone’s day with something as simple as a asking to hold a door, and don’t be upset if we respectfully decline. Or, it may be something even more difficult, but much more helpful, don’t see the disability at all, and simply respect that I just happen to wear my weird on the outside and yours may be hidden.

Today, accept the similarities in yourself and others and you will be able to accept the differences! It’s Okay if it takes practice. You are loved!

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