Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Handicap Parking Privileges

The latest internet outrage has been about someone who left a note on a windshield saying "You are clearly not disabled.  Shame on you" given to a woman parked in a handicap spot.

Privilege:  (noun) a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.

I have a handicap tag for my rear-view mirror.  I'm not old, I'm not in a wheelchair, I walk around on my own two feet and other than being overweight, you wouldn't think me handicapped as I walk into a store, the mall, or Walmart.

But did you know that I am recovering from a broken neck?  That I'm overweight from the inactivity during my recovery?  Did you know that for two years I was in physical therapy and the fact that I can walk on my own two feet is a blessing?

Some days I park in handicap, some days I don't.  It depends on the amount of cars in a parking lot and how much shopping I will be doing.  When I do utilize this option, I always pick the furthest spot and never in a van accessible space.

I don't use the store scooters, I try my best to continue walking on my own and hoping the day comes when I won't need that tag.  I'm not taking advantage and I'm not even complaining.

But I've seen the looks.  

The snotty, holier-than-thou looks by others as I hop out of my SUV and enter a store, happy and perky.  If you've never seen disdain, wake a cat up.  Same look.

But where are you halfway through my shopping where I'm sweating and leaning on the buggy?  Where are you when I literally cry out in pain as I put bags in my car?  Where are you as I struggle to even get in the car, then sit there panting from pain unable to turn my neck or start the car for a while?  Sometimes having to wait for medicine to kick in while I sit in the heat.

Did you know that the weight gained has stressed my heart so that just doing day-to-day activities could cause it to rupture from all the strain, lifting and pushing heavy things?  Can't see that can you?

I passed out in a Walmart once.  As I was blacking out, people just walked past me, stepped over me or ignored me.  Finally, a worker came to my rescue and called an ambulance.  

Those people who didn't give a damn?  Same ones giving me that look as they walked into the store.  Did they remember I was the one they mocked?  I bet they didn't notice anything except I was blocking the DVD New Release section.

Not every handicap is visible.  Stop judging others based on what you believe to be right.  I'm so sick of people like that.  I believe in the full circle of life and I have a photographic memory.  So if Karma doesn't get you, I may walk past you one day in your time of need.  

Maybe I'll help, or just maybe I'll step over you and keep going...

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