After 138 slices, I have written much about my daily life which doesn’t change much except for the weather. I have written about the two little girls who live near by and visit often. I have neglected tales of the other grand-kids. I did not see them as often as I see the little girls. One family lived in Minnesota and Amelia was in Bellingham while we were in Florida or Cape Cod.
One story does come to mind when I think of Amelia’s visits to the Cape.
Corbin taught us a lot when he arrived on the scene. He rode the ambulance to Seattle when he was on the verge of being born and his disability, called spina bifida, sent us all to computers to find out what it was and what we could do about it.
I flew to Seattle when he was due to leave the hospital to help Amelia when she took him home. I took him down from his room in a carriage as Amelia went to get her car. As I left the nursery, the nurse asked me to return the carriage to the nursery. When I took it back she turned to me, smiled and said “That little boy is going to change your lives…. for the better.”
How true. We have a greater understanding of what he goes through, though maybe not enough. He has always had friends and they, too, have learned from him. I made the comment to him once about getting a job where he would always be stuck in one place, one desk and he looked at me and smiled… “So what’s new?”
When you look at pictures of Corbin today and when he was little you would not know it was the same person. When he visited on the Cape, Amelia would set him by the water’s edge and he would toss rocks into the water. People would walk past him and he would chat with them. If they had a dog, the dog would always come to see Corbin and he was always delighted with the visit. Amelia took to putting his wheel chair at the bottom of the ramp to the beach so people would know this kid wasn’t going to get up and chase the dog or run about.
One day Corbin, aged maybe four, said he wanted to go swimming. Amelia had had enough of that and didn’t want to go out again. Corbin did not take “no” easily. He crawled to the deck door, opened it (and this was hard to do), crawled across the deck, managed to get down the three steps to the path and then crawled along the path, down the rocks and to the beach. When I say crawl, drag would be a better word as he could not move his legs at all and literally dragged them behind him.
Amelia and I watched his progress out the window. “If he goes in the water I”m going to……” Corbin stopped at the water’s edge and threw rocks, looking back at us watching him from the window, with his usual cute smile that said “You won’t stop me. I can do anything.”
And he could.
We didn’t get a chair lift for the house until we found Corbin had a unique way of coming down stairs. He could crawl up slowly, though at bed time it made better sense to carry him up to his room. Coming down was another matter. He came down, head first and fast , his legs thumping down the stairs behind him. Grandpa installed a chair lift for the next summer. Corbin’s only comment: “It doesn’t go up very fast. I can come down faster my way.”