Thursday, September 20, 2012

Treat My Wife With Respect Not Condecension

When my wife, Deb, lived in California she often went shopping and to the movie theater and elsewhere on her own. People there welcomed her at their places of business and were glad to have her business. That is how things should be for everyone, even those who like my wife who happen to use a wheelchair.

Today Deb and I were in Boston. We enjoyed being at the Boston Commons. We rolled along Charles Street. We had lunch at B'Goods on Washington Street at Downtown Crossing.

Then we went to Quincy Market so DebbieLynne could have a nice Cannoli. Before I got the pastry I took the elevator down to the restroom. DebbieLynne waited for me in the public eating area. That's when our pleasant day in Boston turned sour.

A security guard came over and asked DebbieLynne "Is your friend coming back?" There was no need for the woman to ask that question. The guard wasn't going around asking anybody else who happened to be sitting alone such a question. But DebbieLynne answered, "Yes, he's coming back."

"Good," the woman responded, "I just didn't want you to be alone."

"I'm Ok, geez" retorted DebbieLynne, aggravated that this woman didn't think she was qualified to sit by herself in a public place.

The security guard then walked about 10 feet away and stayed there, keeping an eye on my wife.

After a time the woman summed another security guard to stand with Debbielynne while that guard went off looking for me. My wife was obviously upset by this treament. What if she decided to go somewhere else? Would they follow her? Would they try to prevent her from leaving the area?

When I got back and found out what was going I demanded to see her immediate superior and then the director of public safety at Quincy Market. I want people to treat my wife with the proper and simple respect she deserves. She should be as free as anybody to be where she has a right to be whether or not she is by herself.

That woman ruined what had been a nice day for Deb and me, and ruined Deb from feeling free to be in Quincy Market or elsewhere in Boston on her own, or even go there with me because there will be times when I won't be right there sitting next her and there will be people like that security guard who will find something wrong with that.

Deb and I are extremely upset that she gets treated that way when on her own. Last year it was a policeman in Randolph who treated her that way. Today it was that security guard at Quincy Market in Boston.

Please pray that these people will learn to treat DebbieLynne and all people with disabilities with the common respect everyone deserves whether they are with others or by themselves.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Celebrating 10 Years of Marriage

A little over a week ago, on August 24th, DebbieLynne and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary. We took a luncheon harbor cruise on the Spirit of Boston. There were roses on our table for two, lobster, and champagne (alcohol removed). And we danced while the DJ played our requested song, Still The One, by Shania Twain. (See a video of our dancing on DebbieLynne's blog post here).

After our luxurious meal and romantic dance we went out on the back deck to enjoy the sunshine and view of Boston Harbor. After such a traumatic year with me in the hospital so much it was refreshing to be together on the 10th anniversary of our wedding.

Two days later our church held a party to for us. Members of my family, friends, and fellow church members joined us to celebrate these ten years together that God has given us. There was good food, fellowship, and another opportunity for us to dance to Still the One.

As the party ended, moments before Deb and I had to get outside to get the paratransit van back home, we had just enough time to open a curiously large present, and a smaller one that went with it, both gifts from the members of our church. The two gifts were a 32 inch TV and a blue-ray/DVD player! We'd never even dreamed of having anything like that. The love and generosity of our friends at church overwhelmed us.

Later in the week Deb and I met my Mom at the Cheesecake Factory at the Shopping Plaza, to treat her to a birthday lunch. While we were there DebbieLynne also bought me a Kindle reader as a combination Anniversary and Birthday present. She also bought me a Study Bible for the Kindle so I can easily read it and even take notes. I can use it when resting in bed at home, or when we're at church, or...if necessary...if I'm in the hospital. She sure knows me and how to bless me.

I am so blessed to have DebbieLynne as my wife. She so blesses me every day. I love doing whatever I can for her whenever I can. I thank God for these 10 years together that He's given us so far.

And I thank you for your prayers for us. DebbieLynne and I pray for you. We pray that you cherish your marriages and friendships. Every day and every moment is precious.