We Are All Disabled - Part 8


Ice Cream Is A Vegetable


My Grandmother is 98 and loves her life in Williams Lake.  I lived with her for a time. We became the best of friends and still are. These days, I call Granny just to hear the sound of her voice. Its the most reassuring sound I have ever known. After those calls, I smile and slip back to the best parts of being a kid that always involved Granny.

Granny and I 
She bought my first bike and chocolate ice cream cones whenever I needed them. We watched Gilligan's Island and the Flintstones together.  She was always there, loving me without any conditions because that's what Granny's do.

Staring out into the morning rain and grey skies, thinking about filing my taxes and what's next in a fledging musical career, it's easy to find peace when I remember there are women like Granny in my life who have seen the best in me, even when I couldn't. Linda Fricke is one of those people whose compassion and encouragement was just the right medicine when I returned to earth after going around the world with Rick Hansen.

I met Linda at an event celebrating the Man in Motion Tour. Linda introduced herself to me. When she asked what I was doing, shame rolled over me. I couldn't talk about my music because wheeling around the world for two years had put my guitar on ice. And I couldn't talk about what Rick and I might do together because his new life as a hero didn't require a wheelchair mechanic. 

Paralympics in Atlanta
I didn't know what to say but Linda did. She told me about a wheelchair sports program I should be a part of. She challenged me to take the skills I developed keeping Rick and his chair on the road and invest them in young athletes.

Linda is one of my heroes. She invested so much of herself in wheelchair sports and she brought me along for the ride that led me to become the wheelchair tech for the Paralympics Team for the Olympics in Atlanta and Sydney.

The Sydney games were magical. I worked with the Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Team. Our matches were sell outs. Mix Wheelchairs from a Mad Max movie with one part Aussie Rules and you get true grit entertainment.

How lucky am I to have befriended Linda Fricke and to have a Granny who believes chocolate ice cream is a vegetable! ( I wish )

Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Team in Sydney, Australia

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