Authoring my own story.

by

And so it began: the longest, hottest, most challenging (and rewarding) summer of her life: the summer she learned to walk again.

She began that day with a memory of a few days earlier, walking, pushing her babies along till she was in a road she did not recognize. Ten or fifteen minutes in the sun and dappled shade. And that morning had started with a memory as well: five minutes of walking, past the point in the road she always turned back.

These were the building blocks set tentatively on a foundation of fear, pain, unease – all these big pieces stuck together by finger thin pieces of hope. The hope was cracked in some places, stained. In a few spots there was no hope, just rough slabs with uneven edges lying on the ground. Somewhere below these months and years of pain was the earth – a fragile memory of life, an intense freedom not bound to bed, wheelchair, small diameters.

That morning, that first good morning, she walked 26 minutes.

That was the morning she realised, about 14 minutes in, that she had a purpose. Her movement wasn’t a brief escape or respite; she was walking to learn. To be.

Eighteen months of crutches, of pain pills, of swollen belly and overflowing heart. You wouldn’t think eighteen months was long enough to lose faith in yourself, to begin to imagine an ever after that wasn’t over the horizon somewhere, but one that you were living in right now. A very modified happy (?)  ending – two lovely children, one unruly body.

This morning she thought she would never take it for granted again – the smooth rhythm of her feet on the hot pavement. The possibility of turning any direction she wanted, not knowing where she would end up.

This morning it was all sweet to her, that which would have bothered her in the past – that which would have made her stay indoors because of those niggles. Sun beating down at nine in the morning. Sweat covering her just washed body. The fullness of her thighs rubbing together. She knew, today, the reality of those things, those sweet things, those little pieces of life and womanhood and exploration. Her aching legs felt good, her stiff pelvis worried her (but she walked on), and it was so real. Walking past houses, talking to the people helping others onto the disabled bus for adults, the birds so loud.

The driver of the disabled bus telling her how lucky she was, that she should enjoy walking so well while she was young. She felt him watching her walk away from that bus of wheelchairs and walking sticks, she imagined him thinking that the abled bodied take it for granted, and a small secret smile curved her lips.

Never again. This is not something we all have, are all born with, all keep. This miracle of walking begins today, and this is the summer she remembers her future.

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12 Responses to “Authoring my own story.”

  1. Kate Says:

    Wow that’s so beautiful and it catches how I feels perfectly!
    I have tears in my eyes congratulations!!!!! Xxxxxx

  2. Amanda Says:

    Wonderful. Very descriptive and inspiring. ❤

  3. Gnome Says:

    Beautifully written.
    I’m not sure if you can see the email addresses of people who’ve commented. If not, TMD may know who I am

  4. Matt Says:

    SQUEEEEEE!

    This is even more exciting than that time when I was 7 years old that my primary school girlfriend and I made a plan to trip the playground bully up with a skipping rope.

  5. Katie Says:

    SO. HAPPY. FOR. YOU. —> JOY! HOPE! AWESOME!

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