Access problems, my problem?

Stairs, Santorini, Greece – image courtesy of Google


At our holiday hotel, I forgot – I forgot! – to ask about access, ground floor apartments and all that jazz. It would have been so easy. We booked in April, but I forgot. We found ourselves up several flights of stairs and steps – awkward and without handrails – of hard and unfamiliar marble. Familiar to the blithe locals used to the heat and used to hardness against the sun. Painful to fall on, I’ve no doubt, especially at the head of a flight…. No thanks.

So for a couple of days I hummed and hawed, tottered and prayed until we had worked out a path I could manage alone, without the hovering, worried arm of my beloved other half. Mercifully, no falls happened to cause any lasting damage – and how awkward that would have been.

I just forget, you see. In late middle age – early late age? – I am not as robust, bouncy, or able as I used to be. But because I can get around my home area easily enough I forget that all other places hold unknown hazards that slow me down to a snail’s pace. It is also untrue that my home is safe. In the last three years I have had numerous extremely painful falls, jarring myself on edges that I didn’t see coming, or that appeared unexpectedly in the wrong place. How dare they! They are, each in their way, painful reminders, that ten years is a long time in the life of a mobility-impaired mother. Ten good years, and each year increasingly precious, each pain-free day a more obvious achievement.

I have grown up enough to recognise that I can be happy with what life throws me. Which I do aim to be, increasingly. I find the only way to do that is to go deep within, and focus on what I want and need, and leave others to their own needs.


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