Invisible Fences

It was one of those glorious Sunday afternoons.  The sun taking no time to make known its ability to enforce the dress code of the day, and I was right there along with the rest of the crowd with my hat, sun screen, and umbrella.

I was at a family gathering.  Didn’t matter that it was a baseball game.  Yes, I am one of those people who doesn’t really care for baseball.  I know, I know, it’s America’s favorite pastime.  Or, so I’ve heard all of my life.  Nevertheless, even though I am a born and bred American, it is not my favorite.  Honestly, it would never even appear on any things-to-do list of mine.

Yet, there I was with the gang watching baseball.  And, I wasn’t only sitting there passing time until it was over.  Nope.  I was yelling and whooping.  Yes, I had become a fan in a few short moments.  Mimicking the guy behind me, I called out such terms as, “Good eye.”  (Huh?  Good eye?)  What happened?  My grandson was playing.

Funny how one’s perspective can change with the slightest alteration in circumstances.  It happens all the time.  We just don’t notice until something unique comes along – such as my grandson being part of a baseball team.  Surely changed my perspective on baseball.  (I am even planning on traveling three hours each way just to watch him play in another game tomorrow.)

There is another area where my perspective has changed, also.  It is the number of invisible fences that the mobility-challenged face every day, every where.

For example, the playoff park where my grandson was playing, on that beautiful, summer day, was designed with thoughtful consideration of handicapped people.  The bleachers had sections carved out for wheelchairs; there was an additional restroom large enough for a wheelchair; plenty of handicap parking spaces; and expansive, concrete sidewalks.  All this fabulous planning and accommodation helped make my day more enjoyable.

However, challenges still needed to be faced.  Even though the bleacher stands sat on a concrete pad, the sidewalk ended 25 feet short of the stands.  In between?   A sea of rough, uneven gravel.  To make matters worse, on one side were the bleacher stands and on the other side were the restrooms, food stand, and parking lot.  Having the wheels of an electric wheelchair (550 pounds unoccupied) spin in gravel is akin to a car stuck in the snow.  I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be for someone using a walker.

The clincher (it’s a baseball term, right?) came at the end of the game when the team met for the coach’s pep talk (or whatever it is they say at the end of a game).  It is that time when praises are given and awards are handed out.  Only, the dugout was another sea of gravel away.

So, there we sat, my grandson’s paternal grandfather and I (his maternal grandmother), watching everyone else gather together as we were left behind another invisible fence.

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Published by

Rose Wolfe (Living Free with disAbilities)

Let's get to the elephant first: I have myotonic dystrophy which defines my physical limitations, but it does not define me. Without the distraction of physical activities, I have found my passions: (1) Encouraging others to live more fully with fun, faith, and hope; (2) finding freedom in oil painting; (3) writing about my experiences; and (4) encouraging others to live more passionately. It is my belief that every person lives with at least one disability - for impairments are not limited to those with chronic illnesses. Many neurotypical people are psychological architects who have constructed enclosures in which they trap themselves. Mindsets, attitudes, and perceptions are fluid realities. Many of us have forgotten that it is possible how to live beyond our disabilities. Life may have challenges but faith and hope are within reach. I have made my choice: I am LivingFreeWithdisAbilities.

8 thoughts on “Invisible Fences”

  1. Gravel! It’s incredible how these details are so easily overlooked. I’m glad you enjoyed the new experience, Rose, despite the impassable sea of pebbles. Hopefully the club may make much needed adjustments before your next visit there. Love the description of your enthusiastic support for your Grandson, lovely. 😊 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How awesome that you’re enjoying Samuel’s games! You’re such an amazing Grandma! I’m just sorry that there are still so many obstacles that you and Jim (and countless others of course) have to face. Love you….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One’s interest in the game is definitely heightened when one loooooves one of the baserunners, isn’t it? I’m happy you had a (semi-to-mostly) good day at the diamond! It would be great if this post went viral, as they say, so that more can be done to improve accessibility, or at least begin a ripple of awareness!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I did thoroughly enjoy the day. Invisible fences exist everywhere. I was told that the individual involved in the ball park’s design has a disabled son – specifically muscular dystrophy! My hope is that the future will be ever brighter for the mobility challenged (greater access, more community awareness/involvement, and cures). 😘

      Like

  4. There isn’t a more thorough education than life’s experiences. Once learned through ‘immersion’, we are compelled to become the teacher, tutor, mentor and advocate to bring a new understanding to the mysterious world some of us live in.
    We dream of changing the “eyes they have but they see not, ears they have but they hear not”, into a shared understanding that we all want to live and love in an inclusive world.

    Liked by 1 person

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