The Friends You Keep
posted by Dave Dame
September 26, 2014
Our friends bring out both the best of us and the worst of us. Throughout my entire life, through the highs and lows, I have had the best of friends surrounding me.
Recently, when I completed my 5K Terry Fox walk, I had a whole group of friends there that I don't think I would've made it to the finish line if the wasn't for them making me laugh.
One of the benefits to having a disability is that you can filter shallow people out of your life. This leaves you with real genuine people to surround yourself with. This alone makes having a physical disability well worth the price of admission.
My friends all have the same twisted sense of humour as I do. This is one of the things that bond us...
I remember in university there were nights where we would go out for heavy drinking, and by some miracle I always ended up waking up safe and sound in my own bed. Although there was this one time that we left my power wheelchair at the bar. Imagine my surprise waking up the next morning and not seeing my power wheelchair in the room. My parents were coming down to visit me that day and I couldn't think of what I would tell them about the missing chair. I called my buddy that I went out with and asked him if he could remember. He came down to my rez room and we began to trace our steps back for the evening prior. He remembered that we only had twenty dollars left. We had a very important choice to make. Do we use that twenty dollars to order pizza or do we use it for cab fare back to the University residence? Tough decisions for a university student. Creatively enough, we came up with the idea that if we ordered the pizza from the place beside the bar we could have them deliver it to the residence (Village 1, North 6 represent) then we could have pizza AND catch a ride back home. The only problem was that we had to leave my power wheelchair behind. Maybe not the best decision I ever made, but hey, at least I didn't drink and drive. Imagine my walk of shame the next morning as I had to go to the bar the next day to pick up my Powerchair before my parents got there. I did get a standing ovation from the staff.
When we would go to bars my buddies thought of me is the perfect wing man. Nothing made them look better to the opposite sex that having a good friend in a wheelchair with them at the bar. I have more assists racked up then Wayne Gretzky. It was the least I could do since they had to help me to the bathroom after I broke the seal. I was also during a public service to all the cougars. Dancing with a guy in a wheelchair was a sure ticket to heaven, so I told them...
I don't take for granted the people in my life. I am privileged to say that most of my friends have been life-long friends. They have seen me as a awkward teenager, trying to find who I was in my University years, seeing me transition from school to career, co-worker, and to fall in love.
People always asked me if I could be born again without cerebral palsy, would I do it? I always answer absolutely not. I don't think I would be the stubborn person that I am, nor would I have the amazing people that I do in my life. I would not trade that for anything.
If you are judged by the friends you keep… I must be pretty awesome.
Until next time…