As we enter into a brand-new year, with changes happening all around us, it is helpful to reflect on the relationships built in the past, appreciate the moments shared and plot the way ahead.
With all this in mind, I want to take a few moments to do just that and to dedicate the next few paragraphs to a special relationship.
It’s been just over 12 years now that the two of us have been together. The bond that developed between me and you would be frowned upon by some members of society. A strange combination the two of us make. Yet we went all over the place, visiting other provinces in South Africa, and you even enabled me to set foot on five different continents. Wow, the stories you could tell, if you were able to talk, about the strange dark places I pushed you into; the various types of terrain we travelled over; and the numerous car boots you have sometimes been forced into. Oh yes, and the comical encounters you can share when someone else tries to climb aboard – and, as sure as day, you throw them off!
My, my, we’ve been through a lot, my reliable friend. Although ours truly is a love-hate relationship, I have to give praise where praise is due. You’ve never let me down (except on that one occasion, but I blame that on the environment we were in and, yes, if you were better shod, it would not have happened). But you never quit, no matter how hard I push you. And the times spent apart when you go for a check-up, I just cannot get used to your replacement. I want to acknowledge you for sticking with me through thick and thin, through all the ups and downs. You are faithful and you enable me to do so much. Even at the most private and intimate moments of my life you are right there with me, never further than an arm’s length away. Although I push you out of the way when I retire at the end of a hard day, you remain unmoved and patiently await the activities of the next day. Thank you for your stability. I truly value the mobility you provide me with. If it were not for you, my trusty wheelchair, I’d be left stranded.
Although you’re old, scraped and scratched, repainted and patched, you’ll be my chosen ride for a long time to come. With a fresh set of tyres, new ball bearings and a deep clean of your upholstery, you’re ready to take on the world. Let’s go into 2017 and beyond. And I also wish all the best to all you faithful Rolling Inspiration readers, my fellow columnists and the editorial team. Let us face the year ahead with renewed passion and appreciate old relationships while nurturing new ones…
Photograph by Ilse du Preez
Raven Benny is the chairperson of QASA. He has been a C5, 6 and 7 quadriplegic since 2000. He is married with five children, is mad about wheelchair rugby and represented South Africa in 2003 and 2005. He also plays for Maties. email: firstname.lastname@example.org