Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Painting the Town Pink!

Last August, I lost my best friend, Julie to Cystic Fibrosis. I wrote a poem about feeling her presence.


You left town a year ago
Don’t worry, I’m painting it pink!
Your light shines in me when I go to work and try to make the world a better place
I feel your light and know to shine it for you
You left town a year ago
Don’t worry, I’m painting it pink
Your light shines every time I’m behind a microphone
Your light shines in me and I try to embrace the audience like you embraced everyone you met
I feel your light and try to treat others as you did
You left town a year ago
Don’t worry, I’m painting it pink
Your light shines when I am with family
I feel your light when I spend time with my brother and sister  
You left town a year ago
We’re still painting the town pink
Your light is blinding when I really look around
I feel your light; it’s everywhere!
It makes us all smile.


I miss my best friend more than any dictionary could have the words to describe. However, I don't remember her in a sad way; it's more fond memories. 

Anyway...

I've been going to Starbucks independently. I've gone to this particular Starbucks for about three years so the baristas know me. When I first made the venture independently, I will admit to being nervous. I had white pants on and it was just before a formal event. I had just gotten a cup holder that fit perfectly on my wheelchair which is hard to find and I wanted to try it out! I took the way to Starbucks that avoids the railroad tracks and people are nice and will definitely open doors. After realizing I had come independently, the baristas didn't think anything of it. It took teamwork on their part but we did it! I did not spill on my white pants. 


After the initial trip, I made some adjustments. I use the Starbucks app to pay. The barista can scan the bar code on my phone instead of going through my purse. I have my order ready to go in my DynaVox; I do everything in my power to make it easy on them. I think that if people with disabilities want to be independent, we have to be responsible and help the community understand our needs. They should feel like they know we were helped in the way that we wanted. I know I've walked away from situations where I didn't fully walk people through what I expected and they just look so confused and concerned as if they were thinking, did I do OK? 

I did cash my paycheck independently too. I want to stress that I know the staff at the bank very well. They know me by name and I know them just as well. I have a pink stamp and they knew where I kept it. They did everything right by showing me every single thing that they did with my checks that I wanted to cash. I did have the checks in one envelope so I could give the teller everything at once which is making her life easy. There was an element of teamwork because the bank was empty and the other tellers could help make it go smoothly. This girl is cashing her paychecks independently. Woo hoo!

I am so darn happy! This really is my town and I am painting it pink!

 P.S. I apologize for the link to my fundraising page not working last month. Here it is again: 
https://grouprev.com/Donate2OTR-hannah-thompson

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