Location: Charlotte Douglas International Airport
So I am heading in to the Charlotte airport to catch my flight to Boston, trying to pull up my boarding pass on my iPhone while maneuvering my carry-on bag and my suitcase, and I notice the woman next to me doing a similar juggling act. But when I look more closely, I notice that her challenge is much greater than mine.
She has a dog carrier on her lap that keeps moving and jostling for a better position. She has a suitcase and a carry on bag rigged to the back of her wheelchair. And, oh yeah, she is in a wheelchair! And there is one more thing she is carrying… a huge grin.
When I ask if she needs any help, she flashes me a huge smile and says she’s got it but thanks for offering. I tell her that I am impressed with the ingenuity of her suitcase rig and she agrees that it is a marvel of engineering that is working surprisingly well.
I go in ahead of her and then decide to come back out and ask if she minds having her picture taken. I tell her I write a blog about good people doing good things or folks who are inspiring and I would love to share her positivity and ingenuity on my blog, and she lights up and says she’d be honored.
So that’s it. I just want to applaud this woman and take a moment to reflect on how she made me feel. I do not know how I would fare if relegated to a wheelchair, but the very best I could hope for would be to have this woman’s amazing attitude. I love her independence. I applaud her decision to travel on her own and come up with a way to make that work. I appreciate the fact that her pooch gets to come along and that she’s like, sure, we can add one more thing to this scenario!
And when I am tempted to complain about a long line at security or the fact that the guy in the seat next to me does not understand the etiquette of the shared armrest, I am going to think of this woman and know that my traveling is so comparatively easy. Here’s to taking your life circumstances – whatever they may be – and not letting them hinder you. Yay for the great attitude and dog, suitcase wheelchair combo and making it all work for you. Happy travels to you, my friend!