This is something that I think most disabled people feel….the desire to be included…to be part of life. Being disabled can steal life from us because we can not go and do like normal people and we often have to make choices between things because our energy or strength is just not enough to do it. And sometimes the choice is we can not go. This makes it very hard to make plans ahead of time and so we have to wait until the last minute to give an answer because the time may come and we are feeling too sick to go.
I am very fortunate to have people in my life that take the time to include me, whether it is here at home or across the country. Son always tries to make sure that I can be included in things around here, even if it is just riding and watching from the van. But, I also have friends across the country who make the effort to include me in things by video or by Skype. If you have never used Skype, it is the next best thing to having people here with you.
The other night I was included in the birthday party of a friend that lives across the country and I do not mean after the fact but as the party was going on. I was receiving videos from the restaurant and from the beach while they were there and I laid here and laughed at so many things they said and did. And instead of feeling left out because I could not be there, they took the time to make sure I was included. Such a simple thing and yet such a generous thing to do for someone like me. I have had people come to my house to do things just so that I could be included and have had people Skype and do videos to include me.
Friends went to the beach and sent me videos of the water and the fish in the water and even a crab running around on the bottom and I felt like I was there. It was almost as if I could smell the salt water and feel my feet in it. They were out to dinner and made videos of everyone talking and even the gorgeous sunset. And then later in the evening they sent me videos of the fireworks. I felt like I was sitting right there with them.
Including others is a very easy thing to do. Just takes a little time and effort. Perhaps you have a loved one, neighbor, friend…who can not get out….we feels left out of the loop….who only wants to be included in everyday life. The freedom to do whatever we want is a gift….an often taken for granted one. And one that can be lost before you can turn around.
There are five things in life you can never get back after it is gone:
(1) The Stone…after it’s thrown
(2) The Word…after it’s said
(3) The Occasion…after it’s missed, and
(4) The Time…after it’s gone.
(5) A person…after they die
Three of those things are part of helping others to feel included: the occasion….the time ….and the person. After the party or event is over….it is over. No amount of attempts to make a person shut in feel involved after the event is over can take the place of actually feeling like they were there. The time is passed. And one day…the person will be gone and you can never include them again. And it takes very little to fix…Skype, a phone call, a video, actually going to the person’s house and celebrating there, going and getting the person and taking them out for a while. It is all part of sharing something so special with someone you love…your life.
(I was going to show videos of the fireworks and beach and sunset but could not get the videos uploaded. Will try to share them later on.)