Last Saturday was the fourth of July. The town I live in was 5 miles away before the Main Street parade started, due to cancer or something like that, and my wife and daughter came out early looking for a cure. Standing on our porch, I called him goodbye, greeted him and saw him come out, and then I turned around and entered our house. As soon as the French door behind me closed, he asked me what I should do with two hours of freedom. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I felt the long-standing feelings of my childhood. I felt like I was: just on vacation.
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The decision to stay at home was mine, of course, so I could only blame myself for the isolation I felt from society. I sat on the rug in our living room and listened and looked. The sound of forced air from the floor air, the tick of Grandpa’s clock and nothing else. I should go with them.
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The photo of the frame hangs in the living room of the ski trip we took in Whistler (Canada) and this photo caught my attention. That trip was the last time I stood and skied, so I always smiled every time I saw the picture on the radio. Seeing that I was alone on Independence Day, my family was gone, I was living my life and making memories without me, I left the ice and walked away from my favorite photo. What was I doing? Staying home alone? On Independence Day? Really?
The right thing to do in situations is that I’m often stunned, but what I felt right in my living room was the equivalent of a two-handed shovel. Running through the morning routine, I filled a locker room with coffee, grabbed our digital camera, and went outside as if trying to catch up with friends with a guy.
My car is a beast, but it has a tug of war to take my Segway with me. Although Segways are mobile people, I use mine as a wheelchair. It’s the same as the rest of the Segway: two wheels, balance cars, a standing positioning deck and two hands placed on a high vertical edge – if I didn’t put one of those big blue stickers on my front. I could use it where I needed to go without even making a mistake in walking someone lazy. I took it to planes and elevators, hotels, shops and restaurants, and that morning I took it to the back of the car, in a hurry. The independence that Segway gives me is impossible when I used a wheelchair sitting in our barn.
My mood eased as I approached my family. As traffic was already blocked off the sidewalk lane, I had to park and use my Segway to get to the starting line of the 5K race. What a humanity! The streets already had chairs, blankets, refrigerators, chalk drawings and hundreds of people sitting in their front row seats and waiting for the parade to begin. No one saw me speeding through the very side streets. As soon as I reached Main Street, I slowed down, took a walk, and took a look. There was a platform where the runners were ready to start the race. Most wore white event T-shirts, all standing and the group seemed to be in the morning sun, bending over, stretching, twisting and talking. As I walked down the center line of Main Street, I stood between the rails of the watchmen on either side of the street, turning at the end of a lane to what looked like animated bowling alleys, listening to the amazement and amazement of fascination. .
“Look at things,” “What is it?” “That’s very nice,” “I want one,” and “Hey, sir, can I try it?” These calls came from both sides of the empty street. I was alone in the middle. What can I do? Stop it! Enter my Segway as a wheelchair? I thought about how the first bike rider felt when his huge front tire rode down a dirt road for another century. The difference for me was that I couldn’t go down and walk. But they could not know that. I kept going and looked forward without my father’s family.
In the next block I heard someone complaining.
“What is it? Is it good to walk?”
It’s not the first time I’ve heard the question. It came once when I was visiting my daughter at USC, another time at the Omaha (Nebraska) Olympics, and at one time, I was in Segn, near the finish line of the Portland-to-Coast race, in Seaside, Oregon. . Each of these other times has felt terribly with the callers, seeing the stick, the cane, and my walk to walk “like us”. I have become indifferent to such comments. I can barely hear them. If those calls were the price of being with my family from home, I was happy to pay. I continued without saying a word, but I had a gesture: That’s it! I thought so. I’m running down the main street.
I found it before I started running. Actually, they found me. They ran to me, and pointed me to where I should be to watch the race, and then they disappeared. What cost me the most is that I was with them. Life is not just about living. I took a thousand photos that day. When they pass the pictures, I know they won’t see my only photo. So what? Dads are never shown in the photos taken. Instead, they will see what I saw that day: our family together on Independence Day. How sweet is that?