By Chris Rohan, www.disableddealermagazine.com
Among other things, Disabled Dealer Magazine is famous for the accessible pinball machine that they always bring to their booth at Abilities Expo Los Angeles.
I didn’t know Cathy and Randy personally, but you couldn’t help but notice them. They were both in wheelchairs and I would guess they both had Cerebral Palsy. He was a long-time Abilities Expo attendee and would spend at least 80% of his time playing our accessible pinball machine. When a disability such as CP overpowers a person’s physical features, sometimes these individuals suffer mentally, and all too often society is not too kind. This was not the case with Randy and Cathy, their overwhelming personalities were what shone through.
I am not sure if the Expo is where the two met, or maybe it was their church they attended, but they shared a lot in the little time they were a couple, including the passion they both had for the pinball machine. The next time we saw them they had just tied the knot and became Mr. and Mrs. Randy Horton. Unfortunately the following year, Randy showed up, but no Cathy. She had passed away. He seemed lost, but he came to our booth and played with the machines. And then recently, I received an email from a friend of ours informing us of Randy’s death. They also sent a link to a blog that Cathy wrote.
While reading the blog a number of feelings came over me. Randy and Cathy saw their lives, despite of all their challenges, as positive forces. They were grateful for every day they had. For this reason I felt very strongly that this story needed to be told.
Here were two people with severe disabilities, a fixed income, numerous medical problems, yet they only dwelt on the good things that life had brought to them. They enjoyed and respected each other’s company. They loved each other unconditionally.
I would like to share this excerpt from their blog.
It’s come to our attention that we have never truly spoken about our wedding that took place roughly eight months ago. We have posted photos, but never have sat down and talked about how important and special that day was.
Thanks to our very close friends, Jeff and Karen, we had a wonderful and beautiful wedding on a cool December day. It was the wedding I had always dreamed of. We had beautiful carnations that smelled great. The music was wonderful, a mix of mine and my husband’s favorite church songs from our life. Our wedding was not the traditional wedding that you would think of. Our friends sang our favorite church songs along with us instead of the traditional pianist playing the music in the background. This all took place at our regular church located near North Hills. We were able to have our friend and pastor perform the ceremony which made us both very happy. We shared this day with our very special friends from church.
In addition to that, we also had our friends that we’ve known for years present. The marriage is still going well. Even as I think of it today, I think of how many people told us that it would not last. It makes me laugh now. Every day is a new day and we learn new things about each other every day. We fall more in love with each other every day.
For more on Cathy and Randy, visit http://randyandcathys.blogspot.com
DisabledDealerMagazine Publisher Chris Rohan leads by example! She knows caregiving first hand and generously shares her experiences with us–-both as a mom of a paraplegic and as the publisher for one of the leading resource magazines in the country.