Rebecca is a Quad Wife from Mission Viejo, California
What makes a compassionate, hard working, unconditional, loving human? I think the formula varies but I’ll share with you guys mine.
My Mother and Father met at the tender age of 15, married, and had me very young - which is why I find compassion in the fact that their parenting style was less like the “Boy Meets World family”, and more like “Shameless”. If you aren’t familiar with those TV shows - I’ll cut to the chase: My father was absent and my mother was a depressed, drug addicted, alcoholic. This is not to have you feel sorry for me, I have never felt sorry for me. I just did what I had to. I had to survive and to make sure my Mama did too. I loved her, and even though her actions didn’t always show it- she loved me too. For whatever reason instead of being angry, I took her example and used it to make me strong, to make me NOT like her. I chose to use it for good. From the experiences she offered me, I became very empathetic, resourceful, and patient. I’m always fighting for the under dog...the dark horse.
Fast forward to today- still fighting for the underdog; our spinal cord injury community. I’m doing everything I can to create awareness and change in all aspects of our little community - there is so much to understand. Currently my focus is on Parking and overall awareness of the access needs for us. You wouldn’t believe how terrible van accessible parking is in California. I had a horrifying experience with my husband that really made me aware that it needs attention; There wasn’t any van accessible parking available. So, I pulled the whole, park halfway in the regular spot and kick out the ramp, method. An impatient person waiting behind us, whipped his car around our van and made a hard left to park in the available spot next to us, BUT also where my husband was exiting! The impatient parker nearly plowed the hubs over, AND also ran over our ramp!
I speak to people, and I pass out information on how and why van accessible parking is different. I made an Instagram @fortheloveofparking where Im creating awareness with my camera. One of the methods is taking a Polaroid of the problem and placing a sticker on the back that says they’ve been featured, driving them to the insta, where they’ll see their photo and read about where the could have done better - but with LOVE. No harsh criticism. Most people don’t know!
The long term goal other than awareness, is to get us a special placard for van accessible so that those spots are exclusively for van accessible or people with assistive devices. Getting the attention of the DMV is crazy business. So if any of you guys have the hook up, let a sister know!
We all have our own story, or path that made us who we are. Each of us has a choice to make our experiences count, and to have these experiences push us to be the best human we can be and to influence others to do the same. I believe all of us have something I call a “peak experience” and when it occurs, you have the chance to grow and change. It is up to you to grab it, and harness the OPPORTUNITY a tragic or difficult event can be.
There is no denying the SCI life is challenging. It takes up most of our time, sleep, patience, love...I’m trying to focus on self love. It’s hard. At the end of the day I sometimes feel like I have squeezed every last drop of love directly on to my favorite rolling human, and I don’t have any left for anything or anyone else, ESPECIALLY me. But I know in order to give, I have to get. I have to recharge somehow. Some people like manicures, facials, or rose’...not me. I like the back alleys of the crustiest, darkest, cities with my camera. I like capturing the human spirit in the rawest form. That’s my recharge. For self accountability and self love, I’m practicing giving more time to my art.
I chose this life. I met my husband 4 years after his spinal cord injury. I chose it because I’ve never met a more humble, introspective, sensitive, inspiring person - EVER. He can be a bit Xtra at times, but he is so amazing that none of the physical inconveniences are ever even seen. It just is. I love him beyond physical and my favorite part of being a wag of sci is the closeness. The seriously, unconditional, ride or die love that we have because of what we go through together, everyday. It is soul building. And isn’t that what we’re here to do?
Well ladies, we’re upper leveling our growth on this one...We’re like a group of ninjas - wheelchair ninjas. I’m happy to be with you all.