It started innocently enough. Neither one of us expected anything like this to happen. I sent a little article to a website and was really surprised when I received a reply. The reply was kind of interesting so I wrote back. For a while we remained in touch on the original website and then decided to share our email addresses and wrote each other directly. I was amazed at how much we shared in common. I felt a bond developing between us and that was okay with me. After a number of months we exchange phone numbers and were able to talk to each other. We began to share our unique experiences over the next year or so. Finally, we started to Skype and our relationship grew stronger and stronger. Even though I’d been married for 48 years, this new relationship was like none other I ever had before. Here was a person who not only knew and understood my situation but could share their own experiences, and communicate with me like no other.
You may be wondering where this all started. You will be surprised to learn that it wasn’t eHarmony, or Match.com or even Christian Mingle. This friendship began on the Christopher and Dana Reeve foundation website. Our love of the outdoors, attitude toward life and our common struggle against the challenges of our disabilities have created a relationship like no other for me. His name Andy Dahmen and he lives about an hour from Salt Lake City in Utah. I live about 20 miles from the Canadian border in northern New York but our struggles with quadriplegia have drawn us together. Sometimes we are a coach, sometimes a counselor and sometimes just a sounding board for each other. The roles easily vacillate between us. Andy has also contributed a lot of information and ideas to Handihelp.Recently, we agreed that we should spend time together and as a result Andy is flying here in the middle of August and staying for a week. We’re both looking forward to this special time together. We have made plans to go fishing on the St. Lawrence River, visit other attractions in Thousand Islands Area and in the Adirondack Mountains.