A blast from the past, ever had one?

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions"

I was home early for once and my wife and I were chatting over the past weeks events.  Christmas shopping done....she did it!  The door bell rings...somebody selling something....again!

It seems we are one of the targeted neighborhoods for solicitation...we can see them coming!  This time was a bit different.  The gentleman introduced himself and off into his programed spiel.....my wife stood up on her way to the door, to rescue me, to say....bye.  He sees her coming and cuts to the chase and says....I represent the wheelchair basket ball league.

We both looked at each other and laugh.  He looked like he was at gun point.  He was bewildered and very quiet for the first time since introducing himself.  Then he said very seriously did I say or do something wrong?  NO...I played on the Grand Rapids Pacers wheel chair basketball team in the 70's.

He gave me a good look and said, "you don't look disabled".  My wife....always ready....says...."oh he is it just isn't noticeable"!  They laughed.

I dislocated my leg at the knee racing motorcycles many years ago.  Being athletic and the league struggling I was allowed to play based on limited function guidelines.  I played one season.  I made some great friends and learned some very valuable lessons about people with disabilities.  They may not walk, they may not have legs or all the formed part but they are competitive, they are smart, they are determined.

Many times the public has a stigma attached to people that are disabled.  They park in the handi-cap parking spaces at the mall.  They have their own entrances, even ramps.  If you had to do a day of their life you might find you would never park in a handi-cap parking spot again to run in for something quick.  The handi-capped or disabled...which is definitely the wrong word! Are more determined than any able bodied person.  They have to be.  Just opening up doors with hand crutches or wheel chairs is a daily occurrence...some have mechanical help.

I was reminded of those days when the gentleman who was selling discount coupon books to raise money for the program said the name of the organization.  I owe them a lot for helping me recognize the reality of who they really are and why I appreciate their struggle.  We bought the books....guess what some of our friends are getting for Christmas!

They don't have the attitude, they live with our attitudes every day.  They know who they are!  Give them a hand it is only for a moment...their struggle is a lifetime.

Just a smile and opening the door will be welcomed gift, do it all year long.  Have a Great Holiday Season.

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Rainer
104,204
Rosario Lewis
DDR Realty - Newburgh, NY
GRI, SRES - DDR Realty - Orange County, NY

I have learned to refer to those once called "handicapped" as, "differently abled."

Dec 12, 2007 09:59 AM #1
Rainer
407,371
Sean Allen
International Financing Solutions - Fort Myers, FL
International Financing Solutions

Hey Gary,

Very seldom to I donate to organization but if I do it is only to assist disabled people. Growing up with a younger sister born both mentally and physically disabled I personally saw how some organizations helped make her life more enjoyable.

Sean Allen
The Mortgage Professionals

Dec 12, 2007 10:07 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,073,964
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Rosario, you definitely have it right.  Thanks for the comments Rosario.  Have a Great Holiday.
Dec 12, 2007 10:16 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,073,964
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Sean, some of the organization with the volunteer groups are tremendous.  I have nothing but respect for people that face the struggle with a smile every day.  Thanks for the comments Sean.  Have a nice Holiday Season.
Dec 12, 2007 10:18 AM #4
Rainmaker
224,121
Laurie Mindnich
Centennial, CO

Gary, great post- thank you.  It's so hard for those of us without a disability to put ourselves in the shoes (or chairs) of others- but reminding me that it's not OUR insecurity, but THEIR story that matters, is key. Their self acceptance is evident- our acceptance that they're OK with it (talk about heroes, demonstrating confidence every day) is the bottom line.  They're likely more confident than most of us- or should be.

Dec 12, 2007 10:33 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,073,964
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Laurie, it was just one of those strange things that kind of brings things home.  Thanks for all the comments Laurie.....Have a Great Holiday Season!
Dec 12, 2007 10:48 AM #6
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Rainmaker
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Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375

Real Estate Services You can Trust!
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