One thing you do a lot of when you visit the Mouse House and its many parks is walk. And stand in line. A lot.
One morning we were trying to fit in as much as we could before “hopping” over to another park where we had plans to eat. Our older girls, Aub and her friend, were off and running. They were trying to get in line for the Dwarves’ Mine Train before the line got too long. They waited only an hour–ONLY. And unfortunately they really didn’t feel it was worth the wait, like, say Space Mountain was. Nevertheless they can say they rode it while it was still pretty new.
The Fella and I wanted to take the littles on “It’s a Small World” ride. I mean, how could we go all that way and NOT go on that one? Such a sweet ride, and the sign outside said a 20 or 25 minute wait. We looked and it seemed to be moving, so we decided to go for it.
We visited and talked and people-watched. I have to say that my crew were troopers as far as the waiting game went. Not that they weren’t begging us to fast pass everything and quite excited when we came upon a ride with virtually no line, but yes, they did really well waiting. As we were about to board one of the little boats, I saw a gentleman who had come in on a wheelchair struggling to get up. One of the park employees (ummm, “cast members”) went over and offered to assist. She assured him he could ride in his chair and that she would get him up in the line so he wouldn’t have to wait any longer. He very kindly waved the thought aside, “No, I want to do this. I can walk that far.”
Y’all. Bless him.
Such integrity. Such willpower. I don’t know anything else about this man, but I think he’s a good one. He obviously was struggling to stay on his feet–the wheelchair wasn’t just a cool ride for him–and he was insisting on trying to walk down the dock, so no one else would have to wait to load his chair with him in it. I wanted to hug him.
Because he gets it. For as long as he can and as much of the time as he is able, he doesn’t seem to want special favors.
That’s the kind of person who deserves them. Because he won’t take advantage of the situation.
People who disregard “handicap” parking signs make me crazy. That’s one of my pet peeves. Do you have all of your appendages? Do they work? Then give thanks and stop trying to take shortcuts. You are lucky. LUCKY. Give thanks, take a deep breath, and park where you’re supposed to. Some folks have to go through some pretty horrible things to get those permits. I know I’m fortunate. It’s not always fun walking in the 107 heat index across a sizzling hot black parking lot to get in and out of somewhere, but I don’t need the space. And, unfortunately, there is always someone else who does.
I think about that gentleman and wish that I’d pointed him out to my littles. Not for them to stare, but for them to see someone strong. Someone trying his best and not making excuses. Someone to respect.
Disabilities are real. So are physical limitations. It makes me mad when people try to take advantage of the system. I have a friend whose physical limitations have prevented him from getting a job. He has applied for disability benefits but has been told that he doesn’t qualify because he could be an “envelope sealer” or a “nut sorter.” Not joking about those jobs either. They were on the denial letter. Nuts. I’ll tell you what’s nuts. The folks I’ve met who do get disability. Who can drive all over town and spend hours hanging out with friends, talking, doing crafts, making plans for get togethers, cooking for gatherings. I’ve even had one person tell me she was going back to school as soon as she gets disability benefits. I don’t know why she would be approved though. She seems as capable as I am to hold down a job. And yet, there are those who cannot work because of health issues or physical limitations who have been denied benefits time after time.
Could it be who your attorney is? Who you know? How well you fill out the application?
It must be. Because nothing else makes sense. We are paying folks who could at least stand for a few hours as a greeter to stay at home–no, to run around town and visit with friends and family and do just about whatever their finances will allow, while others, who deserve such benefits, are denied over and over again.
I will tell my children about the man rising up out of his wheelchair to walk down the ramp. I want them to always give something their all–trying their very best in any given situation, no matter how hard.
That’s an important lesson to learn. And to remember. Ahem. For all of us. It is a small world after all, and we need to take care of each other in it.
Love to all.