Dad had not been
out to eat in a while.
So I took him to Pizza Hut.
It was just the three of us—
Dad, me, and the wheelchair.
Getting through the double front doors
was a hassle, but we made it.
Maneuvering among the close tables in the crowded dining room
was another feat, but we succeeded.
Then, once seated, Dad needed the restroom.
More tight spaces,
more making others wait for us,
more looks from people around us.
Lunch was becoming one obstacle after another
and each time we were on our own.
I felt as if we weren’t supposed to be there.
Lunch done, we slowly made our way
to pay our bill and leave.
I eyed the tricky front doors again,
wondering how best to negotiate them this time.
At just that moment
a man stepped forward and held one door
while his young daughter held the second
and we sailed through with ease.
I was so grateful for their small act of kindness,
the only one we had experienced
through the unexpected ordeal of having lunch out,
that I wanted to hug them as we passed by.
I’m sure our thanks sufficed.

I’m learning, as I suppose you’re learning,
that some people want to help,
and are naturally inclined to help,
and what they do does help.
There are other people who are not made that way—
they stand back rather than reach forward,
or they ignore our plight or our hurt,
or they act impatient when we’re doing
the best we know how.
We cannot always predict who has the caregiver’s heart—
they come in all body types, all fashion styles,
all age groupings, all known genders.
Yet our experience teaches:
some “get” caregiving
and some just don’t.
And if they don’t, there’s not much reward
in trying to change them.
But we can show appreciation to those who are the caregivers,
and we can attempt acceptance for those others
who suffer from CDD—Caregiving Deficit Disorder.
Maybe they’ll get help some day.
In the meantime, we’ll keep enjoying one another—
loyal caregivers and thriving care receivers alike,
everyone who “gets” it and even those who don’t.
God bless us all.

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