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Posts Tagged ‘disabled’

March 20, 2017 marked a day of loss for a very good friend of ours. Her mother passed away. Less than two years ago, I lost both of my parents and so I understand how she is feeling at this moment.

We knew her mother and she was a wonderful Christian lady. There is no doubt in my mind that she is now absent from her body and present with her Lord. I know that the family is as assured of this fact as I am, but it does not take away the sorrow and loss that is being felt right now.

Sorrow and loss are feelings that we all must face because our original perfection was destroyed by our open rebellion against God. Yet God, in His mercy, chose not to leave us in our sinful state, but in His Sovereign Will, would one day restore that perfection.

Until all of creation is renewed, we will be very well acquainted with shedding tears. There is nothing wrong with expressing sorrow over lost loved ones. Jesus himself wept in the Scriptures. There are two recorded instances of Jesus crying. Once over the loss of a dear friend and the second over His beloved Jerusalem. However, Isaiah 53:3 tells us that the suffering Messiah would be “a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.”

Throughout the life of Christ, I believe that he saw tremendous amounts of sorrow and grief. I also believe that because of His love for us, he shed many silent tears.

We are told that time heals all things. As nice as that sounds, I do not believe that. Death is our enemy. We were created to live, not to die. I’m not even sure that time lessens our sorrow and grief over the loss of a loved one. I think it is more accurate to say that we become adjusted to live with the loss. Regardless of the years that will pass, one rogue memory brings everything back, and that feeling of loss will still be there.

First Thessalonians 4:13 is the light at the end of the very dark tunnel of sorrow. That light is hope. So yes, even as Christians we will experience sorrow and grief. Our consolation in this is that we know a day is coming where our hope will be fulfilled in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

One of my favorite verses in Scripture is Revelation 21:4 which states “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

For now, my family grieves for our friend and her family for their loss. I pray that in the days to come, she will cling close to our Savior and be assured that one day soon, the sorrow will be gone and our age old enemy, death, will be swallowed up in Victory.

 

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I put together a little video about my latest skiing adventure. I hope you get as much chuckle from watching it as I did making it!

Skiing

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I just got home late last night from a week of skiing with NEHSA (New England Healing Sports Association).

This was the first sports clinic that I have been too and I now realize how much fun I have missed for the past 20 years.

This particular clinic was held at Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire. I cannot say enough good about the organization, the location and the Veteran’s Administration for putting on such an event.

The skiing was SO much fun! But the bonus for me was meeting so many great participants and volunteers to make the week a huge success.

A special thanks to my ski instructors, Mark and Kevin! They were phenomenal to work with and get to know. And to Ken who joined in with our group and let us use his Go-Pro to capture one of my “finest” moments! lol

The plaque on the trophy that I was awarded says it all! And here is a link to a video to show my comedic moment. Skiing 

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I was watching some news for a bit. I felt like being nauseous, and the news is usually the best way for me to accomplish that.

The last thing I looked at was the story of the disabled man being tied up and beaten in Chicago. One news reporter mentioned that if this case is “raised” to the level of a hate crime, the four attackers could face up to 30 years in prison. Most of you have probably seen the news report but here is a link to what happened.

Chicago beating

As I watched the video, and read the report, I wondered something about hate crimes. Is not “hate” the motivator behind all crimes? People love to jump on the “No Hate” band wagon for their favored group. But is one group any more important then another? Politicians fight and babble over gun control. We can take the gun out of someone’s hand, but until the hate is taken out of the man’s heart, there will be no change. If not a gun, then some other weapon.

So we as society have decided how much hate constitutes a hate crime. And what if I disagree with the measuring rod? Does that make me a hater? Am I as guilty as the attackers in the video if I don’t agree with someone?

You are by now thinking this post ridiculous. Maybe it is. Just seems to me that it is just fine for me to hate, as long as I hate the same things you do. Just don’t let my hate leave the boundaries set by society.

But wait…what if we lived in a world with no hate, no violence, no crime, etc. Oh wait, that would be called heaven. I’m not there yet, but watching the news often makes me wish I was.

 

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It has been so long since I have logged into my own blog that I could not remember the password. That may be good for the two of you that read this, but I’m not sure yet.

Do I have a good reason for dropping out of life? Or perhaps I should ask is there ever a good reason for dropping out of life. I wish I had a good answer to that question without relying on some old and pat cliché.

The past two years have not been good. Starting with the death of my mom on July 7, 2015, a very good friend on July 18, 2015, my father-in-law on September 5, 2015, my dad on October 9, 2015 and the list continues on like that for two years.

Of course many have told me that I am depressed or wallowing in the depths of despair and need to seek out “professional” help. I do not feel depressed and I am not wallowing anywhere (outside of the occasional times I get my wheelchair stuck in the mud).

What I do feel is reflection. Even now I have a very good friend in New Zealand, from playing on line games, who is only 35 years old, laying in a hospital bed, and feels like giving up. I also have another very good friend in NYC that is scheduled for back surgery on Tuesday for spinal stenosis. So this new year is not looking much brighter then the last two years.

It is very easy to ask why…but we all know why. What I ask is “Have I done enough?” Have I been there when people need me? Have I offered a smile, held their hand, laughed with them, cried with them. Could I have done more? These are the questions that cause me to reflect as I go into 2017.

My only New Year’s resolution is that I want to be a better person for people when they need me most.

In my book, regret is a much worse feeling then depression.

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Greetings to an audience long since gone. It has been so long since I logged in here that I had to look up my login information.

I wanted to pass along some information about my youngest daughter, Ariel.

Just three more days and she will be finished with her MAT. (Masters of Art in Education) Her diligence has amazed me. I do remember being her age once upon time, but I get tired just watching everything that she does.

Her entire life is centered around serving God in whatever capacity that would be. She has always had a heart for missions and has eagerly prayed that a door would open for her where she could serve best.

Well, the door has been opened. She will be leaving in July for Mexico. There she will be teaching a classroom of 5th and 6th graders at a school belonging to New Tribes Mission. You can check out there web site at New Tribes Mission

She is currently in the process of raising support, both prayer and financial, and is busy getting out to churches, writing prayer letters, prayer cards, and many other things that I know little about. I believe her old dad is becoming technologically challenged. lol

She has also started her own blog. This blog will be her way of staying in touch with people interested in her ministry/adventures in Mexico. And yes I believe she will have plenty of adventures to share. The name of her blog is Lion Of God

I hope that you will check it out and follow it to offer her encouragement along the way. When she was young, she was terrified to not be within reaching distance of her mother. So watching her grow up into a confident young lady, who has such a passion for people, has been an amazing journey.

She leaves for Florida mid June for some training before heading off to Mexico. I personally covet your prayers and well wishes for her mission, purpose and safety. I have no doubt that she has become a Lion(ess) For God and am eager to see the fruits of her ministry.

 

 

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You have your passport and your destination in mind–now you need to find a reliable tour company that is familiar with accessible travel. In my case, I have done my travels through a group that hosts numerous tours. The group is extremely detail oriented and works directly with the travel agency, so I have complete confidence that the standard travel arrangements will be faultless. With that being said, when I helped coordinate the accessible tour to Israel two years ago, I stayed very involved in the details since this was the first trip of its kind for this particular group. But after much planning and many meetings, the accessible piece of the pie went very smoothly.

I highly recommend getting connected with a tour group that promotes accessible travel, or with a group that is willing to listen and work with the many issues that a disabled traveler has to consider. For instance, if my flight has a layover, has enough time been allowed to get to my connecting flight? If I land in Concourse A, and my connecting flight is in Concourse D, I am going to need more time than the average bear to catch my next flight. I’m sure you have seen people running through the airport to catch connecting flights. Or people getting zipped across the airport in golf carts (which are not wheelchair accessible). Smaller airports are usually not a problem, but some of the larger airports I have to take a subway train from one concourse to the next. And what if I need a restroom break between flights? All of this takes extra time for me. So make sure the travel agency plans accordingly.

Parking at the airport is also something to look into. Some airports offer free or reduced rate parking for disabled people. Allow me to add a note of personal experience here. I contacted an airport once and asked about parking, getting a confirmation that parking was free for disabled individuals. The one thing they forgot to mention is that there was a time restriction of five days. We were there for six days and had to pay the full price. Live and learn.

And then there are the seat assignments on each flight to consider. You need to call in advance to confirm an appropriate seat that is not in an emergency exit and one that is accessible for a transfer. Be very specific in your request when asking about seats. Each plane is designed differently and the reservations people need to know and understand what you need. For instance, I found out (also the hard way), that the arm lift on the aisle seats raise up out of the way, allowing for a transfer, on only one side of some plane models. I was given a seat where the armrest did not raise up, so I had to throw my body up and over the armrest to get into my seat. Not the most graceful thing I have ever done. So be sure to ask reservations what model plane you are flying on and to have them place you on the correct side of the plane. If the customer service person you are talking to does not know, then ask for one that does. All of these questions can be asked politely, but they do need to be asked.

Hotel arrangements at your final destination need to be checked and rechecked. Just because a hotel claims to have an accessible room for you, does not make it so. A blue handicap sign on the door with a grab bar in the bathroom does not make it wheelchair accessible. I have actually requested reservations to measure door widths and available space in the room and bathroom to maneuver my wheelchair around. The tour company I use is familiar with what I need and is very good at making sure it will work for me.

Last but not least is ground transportation at your vacation spot/spots. I called three weeks ahead once for a car rental with hand controls. You guessed it. The wrong size car was waiting for us with no hand controls. Car rentals can be very tiresome. On the trip I made to Israel, we had a tour bus with a wheelchair lift which was wonderful. On our upcoming cruise, we will be making many port calls and the tour buses will not have wheelchair lifts. So a car and driver has been assigned to our group especially for me. I can easily transfer into and out of the car, and follow the rest of the group around on the bus. Yes there is an added expense to do this, but the money will be well spent to make our vacation an enjoyable one.

Once again, the tour company I use has done the bulk of what I talked about. But I still keep my finger on the pulse of everything. It is much better to deal with everything on the phone before we leave, than to get to Europe and find out there are problems that for a disabled traveler can quickly turn into a fiasco.

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