by: Rebecca Taylor

My body is made of metal; I have a canvas seat, wheels, and brakes. To many I would appear cold and uninviting but to 98-year old Maggie Fuller, I am a chariot fit for a queen. I am Maggie’s independence. Without me, Maggie would be unable to participate in many of the activities she loves at her senior’s home. Together we attend Bingo games, I love being able to help her pick her prize whenever she wins. We carpet bowl and Maggie sits in me leaning down to throw the ball to knock out the opponents’ pins.

Our days are filled with constant action, Maggie clutching my sturdy black tires to get her wherever she wants to go. I love it when Maggie and I go to the duck pond; we roll along a winding tree lined path, the gentle breeze and luscious sunshine on our faces. The most wonderful thing in the world is seeing Maggie’s delight as she watches the ducklings huddled around their mother, following her commands except for one, it is smaller than the rest but it makes up for it in attitude, this rebellious duckling will not follow the others preferring to strike out on its own. It is this duckling that Maggie and I adore the most; we are also free spirits, forging a path of our own. Maggie is the model of what people want to be, she is exuberant, always ready to lend a helping hand and has a smile that is more radiant than the sun on the brightest day. I feel blessed to have a friend like Maggie to take care of, to hold her body in mine is the best thing in the world whether we are playing games, enjoying a cup on tea on the veranda, or when she is curled up in me reading a book or watching a movie.

At night, I sit by her bed watching her sleep, holding the clothes that she will wear the next morning, ready to take on a new day no matter what it may bring. I know that someday Maggie will go away and leave me and that someone else will claim me. Losing Maggie scares me more than anything in the universe, but I know that I cannot let this fear rule my life because it could prevent me from doing some wonderfully memorable things with her. I must take my life in strides just like Maggie, we will all be called Home someday she says, but we must not wait for this to happen, we must live each day to the fullest like her mentor Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift.” Being Maggie’s wheelchair is amazing and I will cherish her everyday, I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.