It’s been a long few days. Just when I really felt like things were on the up, things got a little sad. Don’t worry the post won’t be all about sad things, but I figured I’d reflect on some stuff.

If traveling around a crazy huge city in a wheelchair wasn’t difficult enough, my power chair decided to break. A good ole’ short. Would work for one minute and not the next. The only good thing about this was it broke right when I got home. Obviously I am a class A technician …. so I had no idea what the heck to do. I quickly emailed a friend who lives in Berlin who also uses a wheelchair. She suggested a plan that went a little like this:

  1. Skip class.
  2. It’s raining so I take a taxi in my manual chair to the closest doctors office.
  3. argue with doctor who speaks little German. Beg her to please see me
  4. Receive a prescription from the doctor to have a repair done (this is actually similar to the states, but you don’t have to physically go see the doctor for a script)
  5. Call repair company and send script
  6. Quote for broken part to be paid in cash (1500 euro) – welcome to the world of medical expenses. Especially medical devices. By the way if you live in the states – read up on this craziness and sign the petition
  7. Cry.
  8. Quickly email new German health care provider and THANKFULLY get full approval for the repair
  9. Thank God I live in Germany. If I lived in the states, I would have to pay this out of pocket….unless of course I had met my ridiculously high deductible.
  10. Repair man can’t come till Monday 😦
  11. Have a fun weekend in my manual

Now, pushing around in my manual isn’t horrible… except when it rains, which of course did that most of the weekend. But, it just makes for a tired Grace. The good news is my chair is fixed and it’s one less stress to worry about for now 🙂

This weekend I also went to an FC Union Match. They are a 2nd division and played St. Pauli from Hamburg. It was a blast and we ended up ending in a draw, 3-3. Lots of goals = lots of excitement. They also had hot wine (Gluhwein), so I can’t complain about that.

Festival of Lights shot

Saturday evening some friends from school came over to my apartment and we drank lots of wine…sooo Sunday was a lazy day.

Today has been a hard day. I found out that a co-worker from Cummins had passed away unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm. I had always heard of such a thing, but didn’t know anyone personally. The morning was filled with texting friends back home discovering details. It is nothing but shocking. How can something happen so sudden? I truly looked up to this woman and it saddens me that she leaves behind such a wonderful family.

It’s interesting because in class we are constantly discussing conflict and violence. It’s heartbreaking when thinking of the innocent people who have their lives ended in an instant. All of this due to inequality or bad policy. You don’t often think things such as this could happen to you. Or that you could know someone who had their life ended so quickly. It really puts things into perspective.

In a note I received today about her passing included a thoughtful quote:

I am grateful for what I am and have.

My thanksgiving is perpetual.

It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite – only a sense of existence.

My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches.

No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.

  –       Henry David Thoreau.

It reminded me that we have this one life. Death is inevitable. It’s going to happen to us all and we can’t stop it. How can we live each day to be grateful, kind and cherish our moments. My wheelchair breaking was horrible, but it is merely a small thing. I can only be thankful for my experiences and currently living in Germany. It’s a change for sure, but it’s also a blessing.

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