Look Out World...
Here I come! Look what came for Ashley Kate today...
A new set of wheels.
She's had a lot of fun today learning to maneuver her way around the house.
A mixed bag of emotion is what I'm carrying today. I've been reduced to tears by the mere sight of the chair...and...I've been moved to tears by the sight of her independence. For the first time in her life she has the ability to really go wherever she would like to go. Although my heart aches because of the way she has to get there, it still rejoices that she can in fact can get there.
She is absolutely amazing. In just a matter of hours she has learned how to go forward, backward, turn around, and get into trouble. Nothing in the house is safe if its in her reach. She's trying to open doors, take breakables off the bookshelves, and dump out cups belonging to whoever left it sitting out. Nothing is really safe if its in her path or her reach! I kind of love that(secretly I'm smiling).
I've watched Blake and Allie go from looks of "I'm not so sure about this" to looks of "I'm so PROUD of her". To be honest those looks can be found on mine and Dave's faces too. There is pain. The presence of the chair represents the death of a dream. At least there is grieving over that dream we had for her right now anyways. Maybe not forever though. She may learn to walk someday. At least I hope that she does.
Still this is what she needed for now. Its taken close to 6 years for our family to get to this place. We so desperately want the world to see Ash as normal, not disabled, not handicapped. I know its not reality, but this is an emotional journey that we are all on together. Just being honest. This chair gives her the ability to roam inside the house without running over anyone or anything and causing too much damage(her power chair gives her a little...too..much... power. Right now anyway).
Ash is proud. So proud! She can go fast! Faster than she ever has on her own. I can't imagine being Ash and never having the opportunity to go and do what she would like. I've often felt great sadness for her at being "placed" somewhere her whole life. I just wanted her to have a choice about where she wanted to play or where she wanted to go. This new chair is giving that choice to her. Within reason of course.
So, as with most things on this journey, I feel sad and I feel joy. I won't lie and say that it doesn't hurt because it does. Thankfully though it also brings us great joy to watch her explore her world a little bit more. Great joy to watch her live. So look out world...there's another set of wheels in town.