Thursday, September 29, 2011

Don't Park There!

Being a person with strong convictions has caused me to have to position myself on what we kindly refer to as a soapbox. I admit I have had many topics to warrant my thoughts. Mostly for the past twelve years I committed myself to change the world's view of a person whose pancrease had ceased working correctly. Of course you know I am speaking of a person who has diabetes. When Anna Grace was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, I picked up quickly on the phrase, "Oh, she is a diabetic." I didn't think she was a diabetic, but rather a person who HAS diabetes. Jeff quickly told me to give it up but if I am anything, I am not a quitter--especially when it is about my child!

Now my family has a new soapbox. We seem to be united toward this effort. You see it every day whenever you're in your car, when you are in line for the next available parking space. You may have guessed it. I hope you're not guilty...I am referring to the always treasured handicapped parking spaces. I am amazed at how few handicapped spaces are provided at normal restaurants and stores. The exceptions would be Target, hospitals and doctor's offices. But for sure there is always someone needing that handicapped space you are pulling into now! Go ahead and fess know I am stepping on all your toes!!

One day, Abby and I were eating lunch at Chilis. We were seated in clear view of the lone handicapped space. And yes, it was adorned with the familiar blue handicapped sign. At this point, it became the game surrounding our outing. We had fun watching for who would be getting in that ever cool Mercedes Benz that was parked in THAT spot, and driving off. Finally, the moment arrived and we watched intently as a couple approached the car. Not to our surprise, we didn't see even the slightest limp. I thought I would have to hold Abby back, as if I could!!

I'm not sure why this always seems to happen with Abby, but I have to add this event. She and I were going to our favorite place to get pedicures. Nail Paradise offers great services and we have grown attached to the technicians there. I met them before I had ALS. Jennifer would work her magic on my feet that constantly were in heels or running shoes! She would put my pain tolerance to the test at each visit. I told Jennifer if anyone ever tried to snatch her purse she could put them down with her thumb alone! The entire staff goes way beyond the call of duty and always responds to whatever challenges I present to position me in the spa chair safely. Back to the story...there were no handicapped places available this particular day, because there was this massive truck parked in the only handicapped spot that had enough space to accomodate the ramp that allows me to exit the van. At this point Abby was warming up the familiar comments that lead to a full-fledged speech of anger! The truck had no sticker denoting proper clearance to claim this spot. We parked at the end of the row to allow enough room to get me out. All the while Abby is muttering sentences of the accusing type. When we got me positioned Abby went to choose her color. Meanwhile I am beginning to sit back to let the whole process take place. All of a sudden I realized Abby wasn't back and wasn't in view... then I saw her, not in front of the polish rack but outside taking pictures of the truck's license plate! She confessed to wanting to track the owner down but settled for calling to report him, hoping to cause him to have to pay a fine. So I end this saga with words from Jesus..."Go forth and sin no more!"


  1. Oh Nancy I remember one time about 25 years ago, (oh wow we are old) Allan had just opened his clinic and I was in charge of decorating along with a few other things. Anyway I was trying to deliver some very large and heavy pictures to the upstairs office. I could barely lift them so I parked in front of the door, yes in the "No Parking" zone loaded them on a wheel chair and took the up on the elevator. When I got up there I got distracted by who knows what and forgot the van was still sitting in front of the door. The downstairs clinic called up to report that I was blocking handicap access. Oh man, I felt so bad. I rushed down to move the van and met the couple who had reported me. They were so angry with me, (picture Abbey) I apologized profusely but they were not going to let it go. I wanted to hide! I felt so bad about it. I do try to be very careful now. Occasionally I even give up the close non- handicap space because I know someone needs it more but only occasionally. I am sure I will do it more often now and always remember your words!

    May God bless you and your precious family!
    I love you!

  2. Everyday at work, I see this....and it amazes me that people do this!! We have loyal customers that come in and sometimes have to circle the parking lot b/c the handicap spaces are constantly filled by people who don't appear to need limps, no crutches....yet one of our customers that needs a wheelchair to get around, has to wait or find another spot!! Today, one of our Sales Reps discovered cars in handicap spots with no stickers or tags and appeared to be irate about it...and I can't say I blame her!! I even think she was getting plate numbers...but she ended up standing outside until the owner's of the vehicles came back then proceeded to stand in the spot until our customer made her way back!! It was nice to see someone take a stand (literally) for this!!

  3. This makes me SO mad too!! We were at a hotel recently and I saw a lady park her little sports car in the handicapped space and bop on into the hotel. I came back out for something about 15 min. later and I saw it was still parked there. At the same moment, I saw a car park 5 spaces away from the (taken) handicapped spot and then saw an elderly couple get out of the car. I wasn't sure if they had a sticker/tag or not, but it made me mad that the sports car was still in the spot. I went inside and reported it to the desk clerk. From the way she responded to me, I am pretty sure it was someone that worked there and that person was around the corner and in earshot of us. I hoped she heard my mini-vent about it and how very WRONG it was to park there. :)

    Love you, Nancy!