A Much Belated Blog Post

Good evening, a belated Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year to all! Additionally, thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes! My last year of my 6th decade. Who thought I would be spending it in a wheelchair…?

It has been quite a while since we have posted anything. Between being busy in November and December with lots of family visits, the rush of Christmas, and several presentations (5 in November, and 3 in December) as well as having all the family to visit over the holiday has put us behind. To top it all off I have been fighting a virus and a minor infection. The problem for me is that I don’t feel anything so even though I may be sick, I really don’t know that I am sick. All I can tell is that I am tired and out of sorts.

All the family out for a walk on Christmas Day!

Perhaps it is the change in the weather and the darker days combined with coming off the high of our cruise, but I have been fighting quite a bit of depression the last couple of months. Again, nothing that I can put a finger on - I just don’t have the motivation to move as much as I should. Getting me dressed and out the door takes real effort. If we are out for very long, I have several layers plus a hat, scarf and facemask. It’s a good thing we don’t go into the bank looking like that! ;-). Then, if we are out in the evening, I put a set of lights on my wheelchair so people can see me. I am quite low to the ground and even though I have reflector tapes I am always worried of being hit by a car. I rarely ride on the sidewalks as they are very bumpy and since I drive with my head the bumps cause my head to bounce off my head array and adds to the discomfort. As a result I am always on the side of the road praying to not being hit. Finally, if it is raining Isabelle attaches an umbrella to my chair or carries it and stays by my side. It is great to get out, but boy is it a lot of effort.

Jim all bundled up for a walk and roll on a brisk day!

We are settling in for the winter of 2019. I already have 3 Presentations in January. I am hoping to slow down just a little and work on some other projects – like writing more about my experiences living in a wheelchair and rolling through life. I still think I have lots to add about how I feel and what I do. I hope to still be involved with the Transportation Advisory Committee here in Chilliwack. I bring a very different perspective to the table and have lots of ideas about transit here in Chilliwack. On a happy note, Chilliwack has continued its bike trail system and now has a walking/cycling bridge over the TransCanada Highway. Without our own pedestrian bridge, it is virtually impossible to walk or cycle across the North/South division in Chilliwack. This is a great addition to our city. As you can see from the photo we enjoyed looking out over the highway. We are going to wait for a holiday Monday in the summer and watch the traffic slowly work its way back into the city! It is always a sight to see.

Jim overlooking the Trans Canada Highway on the newly installed pedestrian bridge

Jim overlooking the Trans Canada Highway on the newly installed pedestrian bridge

Isabelle continues to be the rock of my life. How she keeps herself going as well as taking care of me every day I will never know. She suffers as well. Like I always say, my injury is apparent and in your face, and hers is not. It is difficult for her getting through life and not being acknowledged for all the suffering that she has gone through. I try to support her every way I can.

And finally, as I have said before, I cannot make it without the tremendous support of family and friends. I think that is what keeps me alive and moving forward and trying to make a difference. Everyone has made such a difference in my life that I am trying to get back and make a difference in the lives of others.

Once again, thank you for all the birthday wishes and Merry Christmas and all the best in 2019,