He was the result of unique bloodline. Choctaw, German, Irish, Black. Whatever you could name, he probably had a bit of it floating around in his DNA. It led to a fantastic background story, but also led to a very rare disease that manifested itself after a football injury. It’s a disease that is slowly atrophying his muscles. It’s a disease that he probably had at least a one-in-a-million chance of having. His parents had to both be one-in-a-million carriers who would have to just happen to meet and have him. It is a disease that has manifested itself in a one in a million life.
I was the result of the need for work other than parents paying me to paint the garage. I ended back at my first job out of college. We often jokingly called it “The Family Business”, Disability Support Services at a local community college. My brother works there and my mother teaches at the school. I came back as almost a favor to my family, but one I would be paid for. There were moments I really enjoyed it. There were moments it felt like there was no escape. All in all, it served its purpose, but when something better finally came along, it was time to leave.
That’s how I found myself seated with this man in his wheelchair on my last day of work. That’s how I found myself facing major life change with a man who changed my life in just ten minutes of storytelling. Continue reading “Eat Dessert First”
Even though our flights on on the 14th, the trip home actually starts on the night of the 13th as we sit in the hotel lobby charging phones and allowing ourselves to finally feel like we didn’t have to be somewhere right then and there. There’s an odd feeling of traveling exhaustion when parts of your trip feel as though they were two months ago, yet you also still can’t believe you’re already about to head home.
Home. There’s a fatigue I feel when I’m away from my muddy broken home for too long. I tend to lose my charge when I haven’t heard a “y’all” in a while. This trip didn’t have that, however. Not to the same extent, at least. I felt more at home here in London and Edinburgh than I have with other places I’ve been, even if I was rushed. Things started rushed, and since we’re trying to see as much of these countries as we can in only a week time, it has felt like a bit of a blur. Two months of living crammed into seven days.
“The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God. There shall no evil happen to them: they are in peace.” – Scottish War Memorial
It’s no secret that the Scots are proud of their military history. They’re known for being feisty people and don’t exactly try to hide the monuments to freedom fighters William Wallace and Robert Bruce that stand in front of Edinburgh Castle. The Castle itself, built for function and not style, has cannons set up all along the outside wall, showing how prepared it was to deal with intruders. Resting above the entrance to the castle is the Scottish Coat of Arms, which includes the motto “Nemo Me Impune Lacessit”, which roughly translates into “No one attacks me without punishment.”
It didn’t take long for Edinburgh to offer me everything I ever wanted out of a city. Of course, I mainly say this because I was very hungry, had been walking all morning, and the radio in the place we found was playing R. Kelly’s Remix to Ignition. Either way, stopping in a place called Oink was such a good decision that we had to do it again the next day. There’s something about a sandwich made with a half pound of pork, haggis, and topped with a piece of crackling that did my soul right. Oh, and the pig I was eating was just sitting in the window.
Sometimes I write about things I’ve done and so far I’ve been doing that a lot about this one trip I took waaaaaaay back in the day (a couple weeks ago). Feel free to read more over here in this part of the website.
The sun rose in the mountain in the clouds and on this morning, I awoke on the Caledonian Sleeper Train in the Scottish Highlands. The clouds themselves seemingly rested below the mountain peaks as we passed by tiny train platforms in the middle of nowhere. Names like Orchy, Rannoch, and Tulloch passed by and I had no idea where we were and didn’t care.
I’ve done some neat things in my life. I’ve served adorable orphans in Mexico. I’ve made the crowd go wild on a fast break dunk in a basketball game in El Salvador. Heck, I’ve been in love before, a couple of times. And I’ve certainly been existentialistic before. So I don’t know why today I felt as though there would be something bigger that would happen and make things make more sense. I would be disappointed if it wasn’t there.
I’m not sure what it was I came here to find, but on this morning, I’m pretty sure I’ll find it.