For SCI Awareness Month, Quadwife Jaimie details her experience with "accessible" travel
"I was at a wedding recently where they had a Greek tradition called koufeta. The saying goes “the hardness of the almonds represents endurance, while the candy coating represents the sweetness of the couples life ahead.” It’s connected to a small bag of 5 Jordan almonds. I watched as my five year old daughter struggled to bite through the delicious but impossibly hard candy. Determination at first, then struggle and disappointment followed by a second attempt with intensity, ending with a crack and ultimately satisfaction and joy.
To get to the wedding, we traveled 4+ hours in our accessible van full of another chair, a ramp, two suitcases, a cooler, and multiple activity bags for two little girls who had many melt downs. Our van and the opportunity to drive is life changing but comes with soreness of muscles from driving that long with hand controls and navigating a downtown maze to find a good parking garage near the hotel.
The wedding and visit was sweet and beautiful, but exhausting and hard just like those almonds. My husband and I love to travel and will continue to do so, but my hope is that the hospitality industry always considers the needs of humans that use wheels for their feet.
I often wonder if we are breaking our kids or building them up even stronger than what life would have been. But I always come back to the thought that they are deeply loved by their mom and dad, that their mom and dad deeply love each other and that we will continue to survive, thrive and live this crazy beautiful life with SCI. They are at least learning not even candy comes easy, and it requires work to get to the sweet parts of life." - Jaimie Twining of Washington