INFECT WITH JOY
Jenny’s joy infected me. Her face glowed, blue eyes sparkled, and lips quivered with unspoken words. She exuded joy infecting those around her.
What did I have to be joyous about, though? I was wheelchair bound, had been for two years. What could I achieve? My future looked hopeless. Unless a miracle came my way, this chair would be my world for the rest of my life.
A car accident severed my spinal cord and killed my husband. I now lived on a disability pension and rented a wheelchair friendly home. A friend donated a modified car allowing me freedom of movement. I was slowly moving toward independence.
Jenny was sitting behind a desk in the insurance office when I entered. I didn’t notice the wheelchair, I was infected by her love of life. Stunned did not come near describing what I felt when I realized her situation.
Jenny, I discovered, was a gold-medallist in swimming and netball for the physically impaired. She had just returned from the Commonwealth Games on the Australian Gold Coast with a swag of medals.
It’s all right for her, I thought nastily, she ’s got help. I’ve got no-one I have to battle alone.
‘There is a meeting tonight at the Swimming Centre, why don’t you come along?’ Jenny went on to explain the format and who would be attending. I was impressed there were some pretty big names attending. ‘We are planning to attend the Olympic Games in four years’ time,’ Jenny added.
‘I’ve got nothing else to do,’ I whined in self-pity, but I was intrigued, ‘What time?’
To cut a long story short, I am lolling on a water-bed in the middle of a swimming pool in Bali. Ben and I married a week ago. He is a basketball player with the Australian Basketball team.
We both are in training for the next Olympics, Ben on the basketball team and I am in the swimming squad. I am hoping to infect other wheelchair-bound to get up and live, love and laugh again.
INFECT WITH JOY