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A little courtesy would go so far

Dear Editor,

I’m handicapped, and I feel a handicapped person does not gettreated with respect.

Some people do not want to open the door or let us go in first.They crowd you out of doors when going in and out of stores. Theydart their cars at you in parking lots and on highways andstreets.

In 2003, I was in an accident in which an 18-wheeler ran over myhusband and me from the rear on I-55, and I am now in a wheelchair.I will most likely never get to walk again. I did not ask for thisto happen to me, but by the mercy of God I am alive. I’m not likethe folks that get to ride up and down the highway and roads whotreat me with no respect.

On a recent Sunday, I had just left church and was feelinggreat. I had just heard a great sermon and never would have thoughtthat two of my friends and me would have been cursed at as we weregoing home. It really hurt to know how some of the folks in LincolnCounty and Brookhaven are. They even made a complaint against us tothe police department.

We rode to get a burger after church, and when we left there thelack of courtesy we were shown was not appreciated. A lady in asmall car darted over, trying to scare us. Well, it’s a scaryfeeling.

I know to drive my wheelchair facing the traffic, and if I don’tdo that, I ride on the side of the highway. But in some placesthere are broken beer bottles and other things on the side of theroad, and you can’t ride on the side. There are also places you canturn a wheelchair over because the side of the road is sounlevel.

I wish there could be a paved sidewalk down Highway 51, but I’msure there’s not enough money to do that. It would really be nice,but I understand.

Folks need to understand that it looks like I will be in awheelchair for the rest of my life and I like to go places likeeveryone else.

Please just put yourself in our shoes and imagine how you wouldfeel. Please don’t dart at us and curse us. We have feelings too.We have no choice in being handicapped, and I hope no one else hasto be in our shape.

Please try to realize that we all are human beings. Others driveautomobiles, but our chairs are the only way we have to getaround.

Maybe one day soon, Brookhaven might get enough money to put asidewalk in or widen the highway or boulevard. It would be nice,but I understand that you can’t always get what you want or I wouldnot be in this wheelchair today.

Sharon Smith,