Sunday, October 11, 2009

Smile boxes, and Kid Karts

Thanks to the support of many volunteers the Emily's Smile box holidy drop off went very smooth. The night before the delivery an old friend I haven't seen in twenty years brought by an enclosed trailer, with custom magnets for Em's delivery. He dropped it in our driveway, and we got to work loading all those great boxes. A big thank you to Aaron for the trailer, and the magnets. My friend Fleck also came by that night, and picked up 75 boxes to take to Cook's Children's in FT Worth. We then took the other 200 boxes to Dallas to Children's, Scottish Rite, and Dallas Medical City. My friend Kelly and her boyfriend Ryan volunteered to haul the trailer, and we followed behind them. Emily's dad also joined in the caravan, and helped us unload at each spot. If it were not for the help of all that contributed there time there is no way we would have been done in just a few hours. It literally would have taken us all day, and several trips in our truck to get all the boxes delivered. Scottish Rite promised to send us pictures of the children with the boxes, and we cannot wait to see them. I hope it brings them a little bit of joy. I will post some pictures of the adventure tomorrow.

So Jude went with us on our delivery, and he did amazing. He was in his big boy car seat which he seemed to love, and we also took his new kid kart. On our way home we had to stop at the store, and it was our first time to take Jude inside a location in his kart. We have received stars before, but this was the first time that almost everyone we passed looked on with wonder. At one point I was following Mike while he pushed Jude, and I was able to see people's looks after he and Jude passed. I guess they didn't think I was with them, and they just shook their heads with sympathy. The looks made us a bit uncomfortable, but we knew it would happen. Mike said to him it was final admittance that his child is disabled. I told Mike I was going to follow Jocalyn's lead and get a bumper sticker that says, "strokes suck!" that way people will know what happened. I can understand why some people that are disabled would prefer people just ask them what happened vs staring. I was also rather amazed at how many YOUNG children stared. You wouldn't think they would immediately catch on to the rather disguised kart that something was wrong, but they knew. It's like they were very curious as to how a baby could already be in a wheelchair. I guess at times in our lives we are met with our own mortality or possible tragedies, and maybe that question can pop into ones head even at a very young age. Emily sometimes questions if something bad can happen to another child, can it happen to her. Maybe the little children staring wondered the same thing. Who knows, but the stares are something we will have to become accustomed to.

While sitting in the bath last night I began to think about my grandparents. I lived with them from age 14 on, and I was thinking about how they would react to Jude. My grandfather was such an amazing person, and I am not sure he knew how much I admired him. He was the kind of person that would shut off the TV, and play checkers with me for hours when I was little. It didn't matter what game I drug out, he would take the time to play with me. He spent many hours with me in the mud while I chased tadpoles in the stream. He entertained my mud pies, and ran interference between my grandmother and I. My grandmother was also a good woman, but challenging, and we fought a lot. Honestly, my grandparents were polar opposites. My grandfather had a full education and was an air traffic controller. My grandmother never made is passed 6th grade because she had to quit school during the depression to care for all her brothers and sisters. Her vocabulary was limited, and she was from the old school that, "you just don't talk about negative situations". You didn't talk about anything bothering you, because it was better to sweep it under the rug. So I wonder how she would be with Jude, and his blazing disabilities. Honestly, I think she would be fine though, and I picture them in my head. My grandfather walked every single day, and I could see him pushing Jude in his chair down the sidewalks of the tree lined neighborhood they lived in. I see my grandmother doting on him, and buying him anything "red" because it would look good with Jude's skin color. I wish they could have seen him, but I guess they probably have.

I wasn't feeling that well Friday so besides the box drop off we haven't done much. I slept in today, and Jude is still sleeping. I am trying to motivate myself to clean, but so far that hasn't happened. I am hoping I can muster the strength and get this done.

PS ~ Mike left just a little while ago to check on his mom because his dad called to say she was acting a little strange after her medication. She is in the ER and they think she may have had a stroke, D$$$ strokes! Please keep her in your prayers. Please don't call or text Mike, he is at the hospital.


Katy said...

oh my gosh. So sorry to hear about Mike's mom--strokes do suck!

Your description of your trip with the kid kart is very interesting. I can't wait to hear what things are like when we get Charlie's wheelchair--different I'm sure!

Colleen said...

I'm sorry you had to deal with the stares from people. Little do they know how much of a joy and an inspiration he actually is!