Tag Archives: respect

14th Birthday

Sunday, Riley turned 14. One photo for each of the years. Rough start, but through the Journey you have taught me (us) so much about being a parent and who we are. Here is to continued Joy in 2016 and more embarrassing photos. We Love You Riley!

2002… Months in hospital… all behind him/us.


I can’t make this sh*t up!

Sometimes I feel like there is no one in the world that understands how my life works.  Surely if there were more people who understood the ins and outs of daily life for people like me, more people would be considerate… right?

I have to tell you a story about a time I went to St. Augustine.

The Door to Independence

Our accessible van: Our vehicle to freedom…

On our schedule this evening is swimming.  The heat is building and I suspect the thunderstorms are gathering; threatening to disrupt the classes.

July 2012, FGCU Aquatics Center

Riley and I hide watch from the cover of the Center overhang, while the Dolphins class works to perfect the crawl stroke.  Having brought our tapas mat, we use our time wisely and Riley stretches to the sound of classic rock and the splashes from the pool.

We are both dripping with sweat and as entertaining as the class has been we are happy to head toward home.  This should  be the easiest trip home all summer.  We head into the steamy parking lot,

I Notice

This is one of those morning’s when the special needs aspect of my life rattle around my head just a little louder.  May I remind you Dear Far and Between Reader,this is a special needs blog where my intention is to share that the special needs life does not take us down the average path and my vantage point sometimes takes me in odd and frustrating directions.  

Today, I am simply focused on the little behaviors that I interpret as revealing a person as dismissive of those around them or caring.  Now, I must remind myself to not be so black and white or even judgmental because I certainly resent being judged.  So, perhaps I’ll just leave this as a bit of a rant.  If we are all lucky, I’ll remember this in my own reactions… but don’t hold your breath.  As Riley’s mother, I get to be Crazy Woman or the term I read recently may be more appropriate, “Dragon Mom.”
The day beyond our own walls begins with the arrival of Riley’s bus (bus 27127 is quite reliable and calm recently).  It is my neighbors who show incredible disrespect during Riley’s pick up and drop off in front of our home.  On many occasions neighbors have passed by the bus while lights are flashing and Riley is loading.  Last May, I fired off an email to my community not even thinking about who the latest lawbreaker may be: I simply knew I was angry and offended.
“Subject: school bus
… it is illegal to drive past a school bus loading a child… yes I see them and will definitely remember their lack of respect and consideration in this matter.  Thank you.”
“I know you are speaking of me as I passed the bus this morning. The red lights flash the entire time the door is open. Your child is being loaded from the house side. There is never anyone on the street side. Are you suggesting everyone sit and wait the entire time the loading process is going on? I will make sure I never leave the community by going past your house again so as to not upset you.”
I shared my frustration with another friend and neighbor who seemed to empathize.  This week, same neighbor drives right around the bus with flashing lights.  ?. Shall I take this as my opinion and the law are not as important as your needs Dear Neighbor?  I saw you. Now what should I do?  Pretend that I did not?
While I was busy ruminating on the lack of respect toward my child, I drove up to Riley’s school to collect him for physical therapy.  Being the quiet lunch hour I parked at the front circle, threw open the jeep hatch and arranged the ramp before bringing Riley out to the car.  When I returned to the vehicle, mowers were going all around and it was quite loud.  My focus turned to Riley’s happy greeting,removing him from the wheelchair and settling him comfortably in his car seat.  When I brought my head back out from the car I turned to discover the wheelchair no longer beside me. 
What?!  Oh! There stood Jamie (I’m certain I’ve mentioned his kindness previously), the gentleman in charge of Rayma‘s facilities.  He had just dismantled the chair as he had seen me do before, slid the heavy chair into the back of the jeep, folded up the ramp and was closing it all up nice and neat.
How do I react to this?  This is an amazingly kind and sweet gesture.  How many times have I loaded that chair in my own driveway, hugely pregnant and had every male neighbor – and at the time one lived in every house two to the right, two to the left, four across the way – and the only man to ever to rush to my aid(sometimes straight out of the shower and barely dressed was my own husband).  There are some other random individuals to have helped over time and I remember them. I will always remember them. 
Yes,it’s a big deal to me.  Thank you Jamie!  You are pretty wonderful.
We are all special… by Stacie Wiesenbaugh 

April Fool’s in a Doctor’s Office

It is a beautiful Saturday morning.  John is at The Market on Goodlette Frank selling fossils as The Shark Tooth Guy.  We are hoping for a busy turn-out as the other farmer’s markets close down for the season.

Took  Ronan in for a dermatology doctor visit.   Since I must bring Riley along there was the great production of making sure he was well  fed and comfortable, pack up with anything he may need such as clothes change or diapers, then load up Riley’s many supplies.  Then I use the heavy ramp, disassemble the wheelchair and fit it in the back of the jeep.  Carefully place Riley in his seat.  Ronan, must just bring himself, load and buckle himself.  Reverse everything on the other side when we arrive in the parking lot for the medical building.
As I do all this and others arrive long after, file by and sign in to be seen before us.  This is no one else’s fault, but it gets to me anyway.  My time is just as valuable.
It does remind me however, that there are countless instances when I do have legitimate reason to be annoyed by the other clientele coming and going.  One memory stands out above the others.    A visit to Dr. D. Perlmutter’s office in a beautiful medical building in Naples.  After going through the production and finally arriving inside the quiet open foyer.  Keep in mind, at the time Ronan was just a baby and I held him in one arm while pushing the wheelchair with another.  We must have been difficult not to notice yet everyone did.  I located the single elevator and positioned us a few feet in front of the door in the event people would be exiting.  We were not so easy to maneuver so I usually try not to be in the way.  We waited longer than expected and found that many people entered the building just after us and wanted the elevator as well.  We were in the middle of a large crowd when we had started alone.  The doors finally opened.  I do not even remember if anyone stepped off.  I do remember very well that the entire crowd surged around me, piled in to the elevator, turned to face me – each with a stone-faced expression – with no room left and allowed the doors to close before I could even move.   Would you believe, it happened again.  The anger  I felt sent heat to my face and I felt my pulse rising.  The next load I shoved us, Riley – chair – baby and all through the crowd onto the elevator .  The individuals there at that moment were certain to dismiss me as a crazy woman.
Yes, this really happened just as I related the story!  This scenario has repeated many times to various degrees.  Please help me to understand why this happens if anyone has insight?  I welcome your comments.

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