I haven’t posted in a while. In June, we returned from a Disney cruise that went around Northern Europe (we went to London, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, & the Netherlands). Oddly, London seems more accessible than the US! Mark & I planned to just go with my girls. But my family heard about it, & 23 more people came along! It was a blessing in disguise that so much family was there, because Mark had a kidney stone, & was sick for part of the trip, but there was tons of family there to help w/me! My kids could’ve helped me the whole time (Jess is freakishly strong, & if teenagers want to help, they can be a great asset), but it was nice for them to be able to share the load, so they could still be kids! & though it’d have been better if Mark did not have to be sick, if I chose where to have him be sick, the cruise was handy because there was so much help w/me, w/the cooking, & with the cleaning!
This cruise, the elevators are a lot less crowded with strollers, walkers, & scooters, & since I had been out & about more with me driving (since Mark was sick), I knew the ship better…so, I got adventuresome & opened the theater doors (so I could get out of the theater while the show still played), went from floor 5 to floor 3, so I could check out a game, then came up to my room on floor 8–ALL BY MYSELF!!! From then on, if I wanted to see a movie or something, I just took off! (I could because my room had an automatic door opener) It was awesome!
About those elevators, one of my biggest pet peeves on cruises is that the stairs are ignored & elevators are heavily used by EVERYONE! I wish the crew members gave wheelchairs priority on the elevators.) I get that elevators are used by those who may have trouble walking, have bad knees, or when like 7 flights of stairs to climb, so I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but when an elevator that is going down opens, & is packed with healthy teenagers who just shut the door, it is hard to remain positive! Sometimes I wish I wore a sign that said, “u can walk, & I can’t.” Or “Laziness is NOT a disability!” (However, I shudder to think of how inconsiderate I was pre-stroke!).
However, on this cruise, I witnessed something that I have NEVER seen before: There was an evening where I was with a family member who had a stroller. I was trying to return to my room after a movie, but elevator after elevator was packed with, what appeared to be, healthy people. When another elevator opened & was again full, a man (who I had met a few days before) stepped off the elevator, telling me to get on. My brother knew there was not room for the stroller AND me, so he said we’d wait for the next one, so we could get on one together. The man (Rob?) then proceeded to empty the elevator for me! I was so touched & impressed by Rob! Every now & then, I meet someone who is kind & does stuff like giving up a table for me, or opens a door for me, but I have not witnessed such a dramatic move!
In July, we had a taste of the future as empty nesters, since the girls were gone so much at various camps. While I think most parents put things aside when their kids are born, & I think those things start to resurface again when the kids leave, we mostly played catch up, since it was only 2 weeks!”…But I think it will be different in 3 years (yes, I am that old!), when my kids really leave,
Recently, we got a foreign exchange student–Giuli (Julie) from Switzerland. She will be here until January. Her English is incredible, & she can already understand a word or two from me! It is possible she just understands the context & catches one word that I say (she is smart), but it is great that we can communicate! 😜
Lastly, an article was printed about me in BYUMagazine (where I went to college): https://magazine.byu.edu/article/finding-her-voice/ Thanks to my dear friend, Laurie Smith, for the awesome family photo that is at the beginning of the article, & a shout to my friends in Indianapolis, IN, who were there for me the first year after my stroke!