Okay, so yesterday I was not able to squeeze in the movie “The Help” but I did go on a little road trip to Streamwood and Schaumburg. In Streamwood, I stopped at the home of “CreeperBob”. That’s his eBay name and for his protection I will leave it just at that. I bought a new scooter from this man who is a paraplegic. It was pretty obvious as to why he wanted to sell this particular scooter. CB is a rather large man who’s body frame mammoths his former chair. The chair he has now is at best “well loved”. It’s a huge chair that has seen it’s day and many more to come. In other words to just say it was worn would be an understatement. It is coated with with dirt, dust, grease, food and possibly some other disgusting things. All the leather on the chair was worn and cracked and just plain ugly.
But that was not the part I wish to remember about this man. Yes, he was not the tidiest man as evidenced by his clothes which were coated with grime. And, Yes, he didn’t emanate a lovely odor about him.
The thing I will remember about CB is his indomitable spirit! He became a paraplegic back in 1997. He had become a taxi cab driver in Chicago to earn some extra income for his family. Not one to neglect the needs and care of his family, he put himself out on the streets. He had only been working the streets for a month and a half when he was robbed and then shot. He is now paralyzed from the waist down. For two months he was in a hospital bed recuperating from a wound that severed his spinal chord. Then after that, several intensive weeks in rehab. Going home to a new house that was now outfitted for a handicapped person should have been a comfort to CB. But as he says, he was rolled into the house and looked out the window and viewed the ramp up to his door. Instead of bringing him comfort, he sat there and cried.
But the tears did not last. As he says, that next day he dried his tears and was up and around. He went into his garage and began sorting through it and arranged it in such a way where he could move around and be productive and feel useful. Today CB has a scrap business in Streamwood that is his livelihood along with an occasional sale on eBay to add extra income.
I guess this is another one of those lessons about not judging a book by it’s cover. I left feeling that I had made a friend and walked away just a tad bit more hope filled and inspired.
So what do you do when life gives lemons…………………………