Everyday I am confronted with many ‘what ifs’
Few months ago, I decided to go to the gym by myself after retiring from listening to an audio book. I hit the shower quickly and put on an orange dry-fit tank top and black running shorts. I grabbed my folding white cane by the door, walked downstairs, filled a transparent bottle with drinking water, and put on white rubber shoes with red trimmings. Sherryl, who usually accompanies me going to the gym, is now in the province so Ate Gina (my sister) told Hilarie (my 10 year old nephew) to go with me instead. I insisted to go by myself, but the boy worried and said ‘baka po kung mapano kayo.’ I assured him that I will be fine and requested him to stay by the gate and watch me as I guide myself with the cane to the gym. I walked on the right side of the concrete street. I didn’t tap the floor like I learned from the Resources for the Blind, instead, I slid the tip of the cane left and right reaching the end of the gutter to my right confirming my walk is straight with each tap on the gutter. I sensed a curve at the gutter with the cane, prompting me that I am crossing a street. Reaching the next curve is a signal that I have successfully crossed the street. I crossed another street, this time wider than the first. I passed by a group of people resting beneath the shade of a tree. I excused myself as i walked by. I continued walking, I heard a sound of a light metal hit by my cane’s shaft but quickly assessed that it was a vehicle parked in front of me so I made a detour. I held the cane with my left hand and glided my right hand on the surface of the vehicle for me to get a hint of it’s type, it was a passenger jeepney. As I touched the tail end of the jeep I returned to the side where I continued on walking. Then I heard the sound of metal hitting the concrete floor on the left above, that’s the gym I said to myself. So I turned left and walked to the other side of the street. I found the small metal gate at the right side of the building. I climbed two flights of stairs and reached the gym on the top floor.
I greeted ‘hello,’
the attendant greeted me back.
He asked ‘sino po kasama mo?’
I replied ‘ako lang.’
Surprised he asked ‘kaya nyo?’
‘Oo naman! Next time punta ako imall mag isa’ I replied with glee.
‘Di nyo kaya dun, maraming sasakyan’ he told me doubtfully.
‘I can, I know I can’ I assured him. But most of all I assured myself.
I finished my program in 2 hrs. Rested a bit and headed home. Going back home is another story. I stayed on the right of the street sliding the cane left and right then tapping the tip on the gutter. I crossed four short streets and passed by a store at the third corner. I heard some kids playing and suddenly a small chubby hand took my left hand. It’s Glen, my grandson, he lead me to the gate of our house. I thanked him as I got into the house.
Accomplishing what I did, I answered my ‘what ifs.’
What if I fall?
What if I got hit by a tricycle?
What if I bumped into a parked car?
What if and more what ifs…
But none of these what ifs happened. Although I expected the worse, I did expect the best.
I know I have a lot to learn, and that excites me most.