Are you a big kid like me who likes to break bubbles in bubble wrap in packages? Even if you’re not as easily amused as I am, I want to ask your help in breaking bubbles of a different kind; those surrounding those of us with disabilities.
This week I went to a funeral of an amazing woman at my church. My guide dog and I got there, got in line and got help signing the book after the person clarified whether I was sure I wanted to sign the book. Then they seated us in an empty pew and the bubble formed. Nobody sat in the row with us.
If this was a cartoon, the thoughts bubble over my head would contain thoughts like: “Please somebody break the bubble of isolation and sit near me. Jesus would I’m sure.”
I’m not sure what the bubbles over peoples’ heads were who noticed me but sat elsewhere. My guess is: “There’s Kathie and her guide dog. I could sit by them, but I don’t usually so would I have to help them or what. I’ll just sit over somewhere else.”
One of the tough parts about being blind is I can’t spot a friend to sit by unless they’re talking loudly when I walk in. Friends with other disabilities tell me it’s not just blind folks who live in the bubble of isolation.
After the funeral several people said “hi” and we chatted briefly as we exited the church.
I have to work on the bubble over my head to not dwell on “Why don’t they talk to me?” thoughts. Please help me and other people with disabilities next time you see us out and about by breaking through the bubble with a “Hi, may I sit here?” Then we can pop the bubble of isolation together.