Paying It Forward

I donated one of my husband’s wheelchairs to Bonnie, his teacher at Santa Monica College. She brings used mobility devices to Africa each year and was delighted to receive the lightweight chair with big wheels. “It’s perfect for the gravel surfaces in Africa,” she said.

I had many happy memories with that wheelchair. We kept it in Mammoth and used it on the boardwalk trails at Mono Lake and the paved trail at Convict Lake. My favorite walk was the trail in town to the lookout point where we would gaze at the Owens Valley and had a sweeping view of the Sherwin Mountains. I loved how the wheels glided over the smooth, paved surface and I loved how my husband’s face would light up with a smile when he felt the wind on his face and we could smell the sage on the side of the trail.

Bonnie returned from Africa a few weeks ago and shared the picture of Pamela, the lucky recipient of his used wheelchair. She will be 15 in June and cannot walk due to cerebral palsy and was so happy to receive the chair. I am heartened by the radiant smile on her face as it reminds me of my husband’s joy whenever he was in Mammoth riding in that wheelchair.

I am especially heartened to know that his spirit lives on in that radiant smile.


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