Special Moments, Awkward Moments
Our friend Jennifer is a quadriplegic who, this past weekend, participated in her first horse show since before her life-altering ski accident about three decades ago.
She did wonderfully.
She had a cart specially built to accommodate her wheelchair. And she has a great little mare to drive, and does an impressive job with her.
It is amazing to see the synergy Jennifer has with her mare, Holly.
Holly had pretty much just been ground driven when Jennifer got her. Jennifer and her husband, Pete, turned that little horse — and she is little, measuring only about 34 inches as a Miniature horse — into a terrific little driving horse.
There were many special moments, watching Jennifer drive Holly at the Minnesota Miniature Horse Club Show over the weekend.
There were a few awkward moments, too.
And this time, the awkwardness didn’t involve me.
Someone walked up Jennifer and said, “You must be Jennifer.”
Jennifer was polite, as always, and confirmed that yes, she was.
As she was confirming her identity, I almost said, “What was the tip off? Was it her glasses? Her blonde hair?”
It couldn’t be that she was in a wheelchair.
I held my tongue.
Jennifer has a wonderful sense of humor so afterward I told her what I’d been thinking of saying.
“I hear that a lot: You must be Jennifer,” she said.
Apparently, starting a conversation is awkward for some people when they meet someone in a wheelchair.
They should do what I do. I fall back into Jersey mode and open with, “Hey, how ya doin’?”
It might sound weird, but at least it’s not awkward.