Bobby has a cousin who is a little person. He got engaged the same fall we did, and they also got married in 1999, a few weeks after us. They live near us, though like with most of the family who lives in this area, contact is sporadic. About 6 years ago Paul had a stroke. He was the primary driver for the family, and since he was the taller of the two, he did most of the grocery shopping (she's too short to reach inside a buggy) and the laundry (she also can't reach down into the washing machine). So their life was radically upended. Since then Jill has learned to drive again, though she greatly struggles with it. I've watched her drive, and it makes me nervous to no end. So when she asks me to drive her somewhere that requires being on the interstate or somewhere she's never been, it's hard for me to say no. It's truly safer for everyone if someone else takes them.
Today was one of the appointments in Chapel Hill. It wasn't too early of a morning, and while traffic was bad, it was nothing out of the ordinary for I40 morning traffic. And yet, I was exhausted. I actually read a little while they were with the doctor, but after two short chapters my eyes were watering and I was starting to nod off. While I was home by 1:30pm, I still felt as if I had been gone all day. The crazy thing is that I was mentally prepared to be gone all day. Many times when appointments are at the hospital, it is truly an all day event, even if the appointment is in the morning. Hospital dr visits are so unpredictable that way. I was more than a little relieved to discover on the way that it was an actually dr's office and not part of the hospital wing we were heading towards.
There's so much I take for granted. Sometimes I get very frustrated that people don't understand what our life is really like with Bobby's disability, and yet, there's so much about Paul & Jill's life that I don't fully grasp. The few times I've driven them to the dr and helped out with things have given me some very eye-opening glimpses into how routine things for me are monstrous challenges for them. I take so much for granted.