Nine years ago, I broke out of a nursing and rehabilitation center to reunite with my dogs and begin a new chapter in my life. In the nine months prior to being able to provide a roof over my head, I had lived at the Homeless Emergency Project (HEP) and then in the nursing home.
I was unable to stand to transfer out of my power wheelchair by the end of my six months at HEP, and hoped that the nursing and rehabilitation facility might actually help me rehabilitate during the three months I spent there. They really didn’t, but I figured it out anyway.
There was one constant in my life as the weeks and months passed, well technically two– Duke and Amore– and my desire to have them back under the same roof with me. There were times when it looked like it might never happen, and my visits with them were heart wrenching during those times.
I am not sure how the hopeful light inside me continued to glow just at the right times, or how I found it within to continue striving for this reunion when all odds were against it much of the way.
But I did and each May for nine years, I have taken a moment to appreciate and celebrate it. As I mentioned in a post in the beginning of May, this is a big month in the life and times of The Tawny, and this is just another reason why that is so.
Nine years ago, I couldn’t work. I had no furniture except my bed, my desk and computer, and all of my assistive equipment. I had trouble doing all of those basic things that even I started to take for granted, during my symptom-free days with the pump. But I walked my dogs every day in the power wheelchair. I made new friends. I figured out how to manage and to be grateful with less than a dollar to spare each month.
I learned that happiness is relative and quite simple. I was happy despite the pain and the continued progression. When I moved into this duplex, it was quite the dump and we had to tear down door frames to allow me to pass through in my wheelchair. It was not very accessible, but I was intent on making it work because it had a fenced in yard for my dogs. I didn’t care it was a dump because my dogs and I were in it together.
I really couldn’t possibly be more grateful!