• Jennifer Thayer

Handle It

He cried. Yelled from his bed and she knew it was time to wake and start the day. Evaluating his cry like she did most mornings… Was he in distress, mad, wet, angry, or just happily awake?

Happily awake this morning. Perfect time to stretch her achy back and push herself to focus on handling the day. “Handling the day” seemed like a crazy way to portray a typical work weekday, but that what life was for her. She handled it. Waking up, changing, feeding, dressing, bathrooming, stretching for one child. Monitoring the food, clothing, and game choices of the other. She handled it. That was her job.

Then off to school for one child while the other begins homeschooling studies. Today’s focus- conversation skills using the quick chat choices on his eye gaze communication device. Plus a new science unit: fish, functional math with counting change, and art.

What shall I make for dinner? Is it laundry day? I need to clean the basement. Should I go shovel the driveway? Its Friday! Need to vacuum and water the plants…

Handling it. It’s what she did. Every day. No rest for the wicked.

Some days were tougher than others. Dang the back pain. Sore muscles were just part of the gig. From lifting a 13-year-old who’s taller than you to earning those 12,000 steps around the home and squeezing in a nightly walk and weekly workouts with weights. Life came with some pain and discomfort. But it was bearable.

If he has daily pain, I can tolerate mine. Life with disability taught many a lesson.

Sometimes she daydreamed. Dreamed of a different life where able bodies roamed out the door off to school and sports. Dreamed of yelling for him to get up on his own, but those dreams just brought on sadness. No time for that.

Handle it. Suck it up and check off that list.

Another silly dream she dared enter to peruse the lush landscape was a life of personal fulfilment. Building a career, impacting her corner of the world, earning a promotion, title, reward.

Gosh, that life was so long ago, it was hard to wrap her brain around the memories of success. Heck, even successfully volunteering at school or church was difficult when duty of disability called. And that duty had no end in sight. Like ever.

So, handling it was what she did.

And when passerby throw out the common cliché “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle”, she laughs inside and thinks,

You have no darn idea.

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