General / A Trip to the Dentist
By Micki LaVres
I thought things could get no more absurd, but
they did. Without warning, every puffy white cloud
in the sky turned gloomy gray and buckets of rain
came pouring down. Within seconds, we were drenched.
I must admit the rain was refreshing, so I whispered
a half-hearted prayer of thanks to God for helping
me out with that hot flash. Still, I couldn’t help
wondering how the rain would affect the electric
units on Frank’s wheelchair.
“Can you go any faster?” I asked.
Frank nodded his head and with another sip we
were in second gear. I had to pick up the pace while
moving in reverse – a little hop, then a skip.
My fancy footwork reminded me of the Clark’s
Teaberry gum commercial. Flashback to 1968: Herb
Albert and the Tijuana Brass are playing that cute
jingle. Could I remember the steps to “The Teaberry
Shuffle”? I bet that would stop some traffic.
Fortunately, my grown-up brain kicked in: “Micki,
you’re 50 years old, not 10!” I resisted the
nostalgic impulse and tried to act like a big girl.
As we neared the parking lot, I spotted our van.
Hooray, it hadn’t been towed. Then, just as suddenly
as it started, the rain stopped and the shining sun
returned to a clear blue sky. The sensation had
returned to Frank’s mouth enough for him to puff his
way forward and steer for himself. Our adventure had
come to a pleasant end.
We continued to our van with a sigh of relief, a
prayer of thanks and a little Teaberry Shuffle.
I am a mother, homemaker, and full-time
caregiver to my husband who sustained a spinal cord
injury in 1990 and was paralyzed from the chest
down. We share a 40-acre farm in northwest Missouri
with two horses, three dogs, seven cats and my
parents who live next door. Living with disability
has forced us to deal with depression, overcome
obstacles, accept the circumstances, learn to laugh,
be grateful for our blessings, and anticipate the
future. I would like to give a message of hope to
others in my writing.