After a bit we decided that as it was a very big mall, and as it would be way easier for Joe to go get the car and meet me out front near we were, we wouldn’t go all the way back together. I looked at the map and saw that if I went alone I’d have to push down a long corridor, make a sharp turn, push a fair piece to the elevator, take it down, reverse the process and then push another fair piece down to the front door.
It was the first time I had faith in my newfound strength. I told Joe to go, I’d get myself to the front door. He said that he’d go with me in case I needed help. I insisted that I could make it. He reminded me it was a long way. I again told him that I could do it. He nodded and headed off. He stopped came back and took his phone from my pocket. I’d been carrying both phones. “Just in case,” he said.
I began the journey.
About 5 minutes in, I knew it was a long way, but I was pushing hard. I wanted to beat him to the front door. I wanted to be waiting while he drove up. I made the elevator, negotiated it by my self. I got down and then really started to push. I was sweating in an air conditioned place. People noticed me going. It was quick for me, not for others, so it must have been the determination on my face that they saw. I made the final turn and headed down a long corridor, ignoring stores that would normally pull me in. I got to the door. It slid open to let me out.
I felt the heat, I felt the sweat dry on my back. But I was there first.
Feeling independent in my power chair is one thing, feeling equally independent in my manual was another. It was a good feeling. Joe arrived, grinning as he saw me waiting for him. He parked in a disabled space and I rolled over to him, rounded the car and pulled into place on my side of the car.
I’m stronger than I think I am.
This has been a constant lesson of my life about every aspect of my life. One day I’ll learn it.