• Kay Morgan-Gurr

Lent and International Wheelchair Day

I'm having a reet grumpy day (Said in my best northern accent!) Persistently high pain levels can occasionally do that to people.

I also found out this morning that it is International Wheelchair Day today.

That's nice then.....

(Irritated silence......Told you I was having a grumpy day!)

I'm wondering what having a day like this achieves? Does it raise awareness? Possibly.... maybe, for one day - and then most will then forget for the other 364 days of the year.

I don't want awareness - I want change.

Does it help those who are wheelchair users feel better about it? Maybe. I know many wheelchair users who are loud and proud about using their wheels.

I'm not.

There are only two things I like about using a wheelchair - it gives me independence, and it saves the energy I need for working that would otherwise be spent on just getting to where I need to be.

What do I hate about it?

Well - I think I can sum that up simply - the inconvenience. I'm not going to list everything - just take my word for it!

I also hate it because of my reaction to being in it, and other's reactions to me when I'm in it. I feel ugly sitting in it and I resent it. On one hand it gives me independence and freedom, but it also limits me and those I work with as they try hard to find accessible locations for meetings.

So yep - I'm in a bad mood.

My disability comes with other bits and pieces attached to it - including problems in the way I see things - try reading with your book under running water, add little whirlpools and liberal dollops of lightening pains, and you'll be close to what reading is like for me.

I wanted a specific lent reading book this year, and in the hope that the one I wanted would appear in a kindle format with text to speech, I waited... and waited. Well - it seems the publisher isn't going to do that (Yes, I asked them) - so it remains, out of my reach and reading ability, only in paperback form.

Yep - bad mood not helped!

This Lent season I also wanted to do what I did two years ago and keep a thankful journal......oh boy - I've got off to a bad start haven't I!

Yes it's a bad start - but I'm safe in the knowledge that God 'gets' how I feel and doesn't mind when I have a rant at Him.

He's big enough and loving enough to take it. He understands.

I'm also safe in the knowledge that I'm not alone in this - I've found that all people with a disabilities will go through days like this, as will those caring for loved ones who have disabilities and additional needs. So if that's you - please don't feel guilty. It's normal and part of the grief cycle that can poleax you at any time. It's ok not to be ok.

For myself I say - it's a good reason for my bad mood, but it's not an excuse to stay there.

I rarely take my bad moods out on others - but it's not a good place to be for my energy levels and general well being. It's not a place God would want me to stay for long either. Yes, He 'gets' it, but out of a deep love for me - He doesn't want me to stay there.

So the first entry in my Lent 'thankfulness' diary will be "God Understands, He's strong enough to take my bad mood and my anger for what it is - like any good parent would"