“April’s New Wheelchair,” Friend, Apr. 2015, 4–5
“Hey, April!” April’s big brother Brad walked into her bedroom with a huge smile on his face. “Ready to get your new racing wheels?” Brad was going to drive April to pick up her wheelchair today.
“Yeah, I guess,” April said. She was glad to be leaving her house at last. She couldn’t believe it had been over two months since her bicycle accident! And the whole time she’d been stuck in a hospital bed in her room.
But she was also nervous about figuring out wheelchairs. She wasn’t allowed to even stand up yet, so she’d need to use one for at least a month. Yuck.
“Maybe we can find one with flames painted on the side,” Brad said. He was still smiling. April tried smiling back, but she still felt sad and a little scared. April prayed silently to feel happier.
The next few hours passed by in a slow, cloudy blur. The people at the medical supply store gave her a boring, plain old black wheelchair. Then they taught her a few things about how to use it. But it was all so complicated. It was so much easier when she could just walk!
Soon they were heading back home. April looked out the car window. It was nice to see big trees and puffy clouds again. But somehow it didn’t make her feel happy like she used to feel before she got hurt.
“Oh, I forgot to mention that I need to buy something at the mall,” Brad said as he turned the car into the mall parking lot. “It shouldn’t take long.”
That seemed strange to April. Why wouldn’t he just go to the mall later on his own?
In the mall parking lot, Brad got the wheelchair out of the car. He pushed April in it for a short way. Then he stopped.
“Ready to give it a go yourself?” Brad asked.
“Um, okay …” April pushed down on the wheels and rolled forward slowly. It was hard!
“This way,” Brad said. “You can do it.” He walked toward the entrance to the mall.
April gripped the wheels uncertainly. She would have to turn the wheelchair. She tried doing what the people at the medical store had taught her, but it took forever.
How was she supposed to get around if she could barely even turn this dumb wheelchair once? Would she ever be her old self again?
Brad held the door open with a mischievous smile. April knew that smile well. What was he planning?
“See that elevator?” Brad said after they got through the doors.
April peered down the long empty hallway in the mall. The elevator was clear at the end.
“Race ya!” Brad said. Then he took off running.
April blinked. Race? How could she race?
But Brad’s laughter sparked something inside her. April started pushing down on her wheels as hard as she could. Soon she was catching up! She couldn’t believe it!
Before she realized it, April started laughing along with Brad. The storefronts passed in a blur as April chased her brother. The whole way they both laughed so hard they could barely breathe.
At the last second, April passed Brad and made it to the elevator first. “I win!” she yelled with a laugh. Brad had probably let her win, but she didn’t mind. She felt great.
“I knew you could do it!” Brad said.
April looked at her big brother’s kind smile. This time she had a smile of her own to match. Brad was right. She could do this. It might not be easy, but she could make this work until she got all the way better.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, she prayed silently. Thank you for giving me such a great family.
“Next time I’ll give you an even bigger head start,” April said. “You’re gonna need it!”