Writing today to share a little more of my trip to Portugal with vous.
This is not the post I referred to previously, (about the magical ocean), which is still to come. This stuff was just more pressing to/on my fingertips:
While spending so much time on the endless beaches, I saw an unusually high number of disabled children and what struck me more than the high rate, (or do I just pay even more attention to this world around me now? EDIT: In hindsight, I realize that this is a popular family-vacation destination and that's the best explanation, methinks), was how beautifully embraced and supported those individuals were by their families. Grandmas and brothers and uncles and aunts, all taking turns with the considerable load while others chatted or went to cool themselves in the fresh waves.
I even saw a disabled dog that just stole my canid-heart. The care from the older couple who owned him was as deep and wide as the Atlantic he eventually was paddling around in, once helped there in a harness that held up his limp rear legs.
He looked like a seal to me, (some kind of Doberman mix), with an over-developed chest, showing years of lameness in the back end. The first time I saw his lovely mug, he was looking longingly at a black Labbish yahoo who was rolling and snorting and running around us all just meters away.
I remember being amazed at the apparently impressive "stay", he was doing--until the woman attached the harness and lumbered through the deep, soft sand with the guy's hind quarters in tow.
Watching the man massage the floppy hind legs and paws of the seal after he was out of the cold water brought even more touched tears.
SO. MUCH. LOVE.
The family noted above, had a severely disabled boy, (mentally and physically), who was in a tres high-tech wheel chair, so damaged that every 5 minutes or so, one of the family members would need to drain his windpipe with a small suction hose inserted in his trachea or he would start choking. He couldn't speak or move his legs and spent more time yelling and hitting his own head, (hard), than playing with the tablet or toys in arm's reach.
The family would rent a couple sets of chairs and parasols, (we saw the group more than once), and I do believe also, the set in front of them, so he would have an unobstructed view of the ocean, (there was a boardwalk close to the rear row of chairs which got his chair to the parasols.)
It was quite the heart-cozy to see how closely bonded they all were and how much they all did together to give that boy a good life, sharing the load with smiles. I can't imagine how hard that would be sometimes, all of it--as what we saw was but a slice.
I saw other much less physically disabled children with seemingly awesome families too but really, this group for me, took the care-cake. All so happy and relaxed and TIGHT. They all helped me immensely to once again, put my own medi-merde in perspective.
In hindsight, I wouldn't be surprised if after seeing my lame arse, slowly and laboriously maneuvering itself around, grimacing in pain, that they were thinking similar thoughts about me.
Hilarious. In a non-laughing sorta way.
All this to say that I am more than grateful for this trip, in so many ways, these here being but a few.
Others, being painful but well-learned lessons on both my abilities and my limitations these days.
Now, time to walk my own land-seal here, now that I most THANKFULLY am able to again, as of yesterday!