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I will be completely honest here (not that I’m ever dishonest), but it’s been a week. This e-mail might not be overly encouraging, but it might make you laugh (which I hope), or smile, or say, “I can relate to her.” Hopefully, it does all three if you’re having a week like mine. I’m moving into story mode, so bear with me.

After being out of town for the Easter weekend, I came home to a pile of work, a messy house, a service dog who is eating food off the floor (he’s not supposed to do that), three stressed-out children, and a senior, who was literally writing his senior thesis the night before its due date.

Then my hubby and I got sick. Both of us at the same time: fever, chills, cough.

On one of the days I was sick, my son had his regularly scheduled 3-month injections that lowers the spasticity in his legs. I tried to reschedule, but they had nothing available for three months. He couldn’t wait that long, so I took some ibuprofen; our home care nurse agreed to take him inside to the appointment while I waited in our van. (She’s not allowed to drive him).

We arrived; I parked in an accessible parking space, thinking, wow, that car next to me is really close to the line (remember this for the future). I unloaded my son from our accessible van. After he and the nurse left, I actually readjusted my van to be sure I was straight, sat, and waited. About thirty minutes later, just as I suspected would happen, the car to my left crashed bumped into my car as he was backing out. 

I promise I got out of my van and tried not to get upset. It was a minor dent and some scratches, but it’s been a week. I’m exhausted and sick. I’m only on my feet because some medication has me upright. I seriously thought I cannot lose it on this guy because I’m a published author, special needs mom, a Christian. How would that look? I also learned watching his daughter, that he is also a special needs dad. I can’t chew him out.

Security was called (stickers there to protect the innocent), we exchanged info, and everything was fine. I’m 45 years old and had no idea what to do. I’ve never had to do this before. No accidents. Never?

Well, there was that other mishap in the underground parking garage at the hospital when my van may have misjudged the angle of turning into a spot, and it crunched into a Mustang GT. I may or may not have had my husband handle the situation. What can I say? Our son had been in the hospital for several weeks with an externalized shunt (those are supposed to be inside the body, in case you weren’t sure), and I was stressed.

It got me thinking. Accessible parking isn’t functional. Truly it’s not. Someone needs to do something about it. If I had time, space, and energy, I would try to fix this problem that has become the bane of my existence.

But, seriously, I have questions.
1. Who made the guidelines for the sizes of these spaces?
2. Do people know that accessible parking spots are 1-1/2 feet smaller than regular spots? Trust me, my husband, and I measured at church with his size 12 shoes.
3. How do everyone and their sister, sister, mother-in-law, and third cousin, once removed, get parking placards? They hand them out like candy.
4. Have they ever asked if accessible means functional? This means usable by those who actually need them on a daily basis. I mean, that poor gentleman was set up to hit me because the spots are so narrow. Clearly, I was parked over to the right as far as I could without infringing on the space on the other side.

Then, I realized my son was watching me. By the time this was over, he was in the van waiting for me to finish up. I’m glad I didn’t lose it, but I did almost cry and that’s okay. I am his advocate, but I’m also teaching him how to deal with stress and the occasional parking debacle. It doesn’t mean we can’t be real or show our emotions. If we do “lose it” we show them what humility looks like when we ask for forgiveness and the grace to start again.

Tomorrow is a new day, friends, fresh with no mistakes, and thankfully God’s mercies are new every morning, and they are lavishly poured upon us.


Authored By:

Carrie M. Holt

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