So as time keeps rolling on we come to a major event in my life, and that was my 1st plane ride!! Let me set you up on how this came about. My good friend Wendy that I grew up with and I had kept in contact through letters and on the phone. She wanted me to come for a visit, and I did to! She bought me a round-trip ticket from American Airlines from DFW to Tulsa OK! That was so incredibly nice!
This was before 9/11 so my dad was able to stay with me even as I got to my seat and help me. I could stand and walk a few steps to get into my seat. This was not a huge plane so my dad took me out to the tarmac where we went on a lift so that I could board the plane. He helped me to get to my window seat and folded up my wheelchair so the stewardess could put it in the closet on the plane. Things would be so much different now. I loved it, and I was staring out the window the whole time! Their was a extremely overweight man sitting next to me so I was not able to see anything else even if I wanted to, lol! I remember him being very nice though! I was so in love with flying, and the people were so nice! I give American Airlines 2 thumbs up!!
Wendy had talked to a mutual friend of both of ours named Mindy who had agreed to have us both over for the week that I was going to be there. All 3 of us went to high school together, but the 3 of us did not hang out together. I hung out with each of them separately. It was a HS clique thing, and maturity after HS makes all the difference! They made me feel so special all week! We watched movies, had lunch/dinner, visited with my family and friends, Going to Sears to do a photo shoot (pic on your left), even had a welcome home party at my Spanish teachers house!! I will include a sideshow of some of this below. Not everywhere we went was wheelchair accessible, especially to peeps houses as they had stairs or not wide enough hallways. You will see some pictures of me when I am with my peeps and I just stay in the car. Learning to make things adaptable for you where you are at during that time is something that I am still working on. Having a progressive disability makes it a never ending cycle. One of the many times where I had to learn NOT to sweat the small stuff.
As I prepared To get on the plane and head back to Fort Worth Mindy and Wendy were both by my side. Wendy was doing what she did best and that was singing with her angelic voice “Friends,” by Michael W Smith and “You Got a Friend,” by James Taylor. I was vaklempt as this wonderful week was ending! This plane was bigger so I was able to board the plane without having to go on the tarmac. This was the 1st of many times before I board a plane to have to get on what I call a one butt cheek chair (ailse chair= A chair that is used to transport those with physical disabilities that cannot walk onto a plane.), because that is all that fits! Even with my skinny butt!! I am strapped in it looking like Hannibal Lecter in the electric chair. I will include a picture below so you can get my drift. Those ailses are so little on a plane and as they were taking me to my seat my elbow would hit on some of the seats. It did not feel pleasant, so I learned quickly to keep my hands and feet in the ride at all times, LOL! I am always the 1st to board and last to get off the plane! Which I am thankful for so that I do not have to worry about all the people! I had a window seat again, and this time it was dark outside so I got to see the nightlights out the window, and I so enjoyed it!
The fun has not ended yet this month as Jerry (Mindy’s boyfriend at the time) was going to be the best man at a wedding in Waco Texas. This was happening the following weekend after I came home. So him and Mindy came down and stayed with me for a couple of days. Mindy wanted me to come to Waco with them as she did not really know the people so I would be there as her friend. I remember the road trip for us to get there cracked me up!! Jerry had me ROLLING!! They had a bachelor/bachelorette party a couple of nights before the wedding. I told Mindy that was all I was going to go to, because I did not have anything to wear for the wedding. At the party the bride came to me and asked me if I was going to the wedding because she would like for me to be The Guest Book Attendee(not sure what the title is). I am thinking of all the ladies at the party(there were a bunch) that she could have asked that she knew why me? I told her that I was not planning on going to the wedding and that I have nothing to wear anyway. Mindy quickly jumped in and said that we would go shopping tomorrow to get something to wear! So I agreed then. I found it weird to be doing it and only know the best man whom I had just met the weekend before. Everyone was really nice and I was never made to feel like a stranger! I do not remember the couple’s names or anything, but as my thoughts come across them I pray they are doing well! Everything happens for a reason, and I enjoyed every minute of it! And I got a new outfit and a new pair of shoes to go with it, thanks Mindy!
A lot of big events happened for me just in that month alone. As I look back on things that I didn’t see at that time, but I now see God’s hands orchestrated in every move! Even the small things, and for that I thank him!
Rolling on, Stephanie