I wrote a short first-person article called The Blessing of a Wheelchair. Here is an excerpt from the original writing:
“Wheelchair (n)…a chair mounted on wheels for those who cannot walk; origin late 1600s.
One can go through a whole lifetime without even a thought of its effects, or life can revolve around the existence of a wheelchair. For some of us, it makes a sudden appearance and alters for a while how we “roll” through life. Yes, despite its bad reputation, the wheelchair can be a blessing.”
Little did I know that writing this article would be one of the many seed level experiences that would lead me to creating LA Elderly.
I still think about these memories and how the wheelchair defined our family at a moment in time. But, there was another more important chair that held a special place in her heart...
As my mom’s independence declined, the chair she occupied during meals wasn’t exactly a blessing but it did have meaning. She had her “chair” at the dining table and ALL knew that was her seat. In the facilities that she resided in, she was not the only one who had a “chair”. Many elderly residents had “their” chairs. And, at a time when little can be under your control, claiming a specific chair at the table can be a powerful act.
However, the most coveted chair was her recliner. She loved to sit in that motorized recliner and well, just be there. Even as I write this, the memory is vivid--I can still see her holding the black controller and hear the motor buzz as she reclined to that perfect position.
My mom loved her recliner. I mean she REALLY LOVED IT. She watched TV, read, and even slept on that thing. Getting her to leave the chair was not an easy task. She could be coaxed out for meals or lunch trips with the family. Other than that, she occupied the recliner. The chair was as faithful to her as she was to it. It never stopped working. I still remember the day I closed up her room at the assisted living where she resided. As I stood in the doorway, I took one last look at the chair that served her so well. By then, the chair clearly showed the years of usage. It was a single-owner chair that I owe a great debt of gratitude.
It got our whole family through some tough times. How do you say thank you to a piece of furniture?
laelderly - Sep 23, 2021
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