Discrimination, Tears and a Family Movie to Save the Day…

Into every life a little rain must fall, and when I say rain, I mean a deluge of apocalyptic proportions.  At least that is the way it has been feeling lately.  It seems like I have been moving from one storm to another in my life, not to mention the constant low pressure system we'll call 'Lyme Disease and Breast Cancer'.  

Victoria, Sam and Lynne aboard the Water Taxi
looking more relaxed than expected.
As I have mentioned, I have been having a difficult time lately and an incident yesterday was more than I could take.  You quickly learn when you are in a wheelchair there are generally three responses you seem to receive from people.  There are those who are so kind and treat you like you are not in the chair, although willing to help if you are in need of someone to reach something or open a door.  They are the blessings.  Then there are those who are uncomfortable, and that is okay, some people have not been around those with a disability and they are just unsure how to react.  So, they are often nervous and unsure of themselves but rarely, if ever, rude.  Then, there are those who are almost hateful. 

I would have never dreamed that were true and I hate to admit that it is truly the cases.  My husband encountered a gentleman in the elevator of our building cursing the fact the numbers were placed lower on the wall for the handicapped people.  Josh, in his diplomacy, handled it with grace and reminded him that handicapped people do need to get to their floors too and explained that I was handicapped and appreciate the fact I could reach the numbers.  Josh's plea was met with dead silence. 

So, I have experienced prejudice on more than one occasion but never as blatantly as I did last night.  I won't go into too much detail since I have already explained the whole incident in a blog on my review's page… 'In the City…In a Chair…On Wheels…Reviews'.  I explain how we went to the DMV and the person manning the door would not let us in for me to acquire a Handicapped ID even though he allowed someone who needed an ID Card in before us and was willing to allow our daughter to get her ID Card after us.  It was blatant discrimination especially since there is less documentation to the ID Card I needed.  I already had a NJ Driver's License, I simply needed to give them my doctor's form and to turn in my Driver's License since I cannot drive in my present condition.

It was bad enough, the man was being censured by a random but kind woman in the line waiting.  It is difficult for me to ride in a car and it took a lot to make the trip to the DMV but I did because this was important and then to be treated so unkindly, it was just difficult to handle.  As we approached, Josh was concerned we were going to have difficulties because the man at the front made a disparaging remark about the fact I was in a wheelchair.  Obviously he saw me as more trouble than I was worth.  

I have been dreading the day I needed to turn in my Driver's License but came to the conclusion, I could put it off no longer.  I am not going to be walking, unless by the Grace of God, by the end of the year so I needed to accept my condition and relinquish something I have been holding on to with vigor.  I don't know why it is so hard for me to give this up but it is and to be there to preform this difficult act and to be treated so unkindly was unbelievably difficult. 

We all got back in the car and headed back to the apartment.  I tried not to break down in tears but I've been doing that a lot this week so resistance was futile.  My husband was loving and kind and tried to reassure me.  Actually, I think if he didn't know that the children and I would have had no way home, he probably would have graced the young man's face with his fist, and Josh is hardly a violent man.  In fact, I've never seen my husband violent but he was righteously angry at that point in time.  So, while I was tearing up, he was calming down.  

The decision was made that we needed an evening out.  We came home, grabbed a bite to eat and then I took my first Water Taxi ride over to Battery Park.  Now, as a rule, I hate the water and I hate boats but with the encouragement of my husband, I rolled onto the floating pier that was rocking in the water as we awaited our ride.  Once it arrived and the boat was secured to the slip, the kindly man put out a ramp so my chair could make it over the uneven surface.  I rolled on and made a dash for the covered area.  It was nicely upholstered and the windows were big enough to see the lights of the city clearly as we made our way from Jersey to the City.  I actually found that once on the water I was enjoying the slight swaying of the boat on the waves and found it relaxed me.  Maybe I will go on that cruise with Josh after all.  He's been trying to talk me into one for some time and I might agree after last night.

Once we arrived at Battery Park a great ramp came down over the front of the boat and secured itself so I didn't need the extra portable ramp.  I rolled straight off and into the adventure of the night.  Josh was so surprised I enjoyed the trip, he got a video of it for posterity.  I am actually looking forward to my next Water Taxi ride.

The weather was windy but warm and we enjoyed exploring the area.  Since it was late there were few people so we didn't have to dodge all the hurried business persons moving in unison to their next appointment.  We just took our time and explored a little along the way.  Josh found a pond that gives home to some wild Mallards and he was elated to have found a place to see his ducks when he gets lonely for them.  We also found an Irish Memorial to those who starved in the great Potato famine.  It was constructed like a rolling hill of green grass with stone walls and if you let yourself slip a little while looking at it, you might actually imagine that you were in Ireland.  Trying to find the theatre, we ended up in a small mall that housed a few stores I would be interested in as well as a few restaurants.  But not the Starbucks, I'm not a Starbucks fan.  
Lynne, Sam and Ben enjoying the Water Taxi ride
from Paulus Hook to Battery Park.  It was beautiful with
clear night and sparking city lights. 

We found out that the theatre was across the street so we passed over, got a cup of coffee from the Italian Deli and went to buy our tickets.  Everyone in the theatre was so nice and accommodating.  Between the kindness displayed at the Water Taxi and the theatre, I began to have hope in human kind again.  Being as we were early, we purchased some tokens and the boys began playing video games.  There was one where you got the very nice prize of an Nano and headphones if you could cut the cord but alas, we did not succeed.   Not from lack of trying on Samuel's part.  You just have to remember you are paying for the fun of playing the game for those 10 seconds and not dwell on the amount of money you just lost in your quest to cut the cord on a game machine that is set-up explicitly so you can't cut the cord.  However, at eleven, there is always hope.

As the time for the movie drew near, we chose our candy and drinks and made our way to our seats.  We were pleased to see the handicapped section was well situated and made it easy for me to see the film as well as had nice comfortable and reclining seats for Josh and the rest of the family.  The theatre was almost empty so we enjoyed a quiet movie.  

After the movie we made our way to the PATH.  Since the elevator at the Freedom Tower was broken, we decided to enjoy the night and walked to World Trade in the open air.  After making it to the PATH since the Water Taxi's were no longer running, we had an uneventful trip home.  We walked the water front to the apartment and enjoyed talking about our very nice evening. 

The remnants of the earlier altercation were left somewhere in the previous hours of the day and all we could think about was what a nice time we had together.  Our children are growing-up and there won't be a lot of these impromptu movie nights left for us as just the Rules.  It won't be long and there will be additions to our party and then our numbers will begin to dwindle.  It is the way when you have children, you raise them to go on and be productive adults and one day, suddenly, you will be alone, just the two of you.
Children in front of the Freedom Tower.

Since my best friend is my husband, that will not be a sad day, just a new season in our lives.  God has been good to me and my husband reaching in and pulling out a lovely evening after such an upsetting day only reminds me of how blessed I am.  No matter what forces on the outside may try to shake us, when you are united under God, with Christ in the center of your marriage and family, you can still succeed.  

So, my bad day and all my tears are now dried and I am smiling.  Isn't God good to give us such object lessons to remind us He is never far and we are not alone?

May God Bless and Keep You in His Grace,
Lynne 

Comments

  1. We all love you dearly, Lynne!!! So glad that the Lord redeemed your day!
    With His Love,
    Lisa and family

    ReplyDelete

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