What’s love got to do with it? Everything!

Here’s another guest post by Katie Banister, the founder of Access 4 All, an organization providing disability education programs and presentations.

Katie’s Korner

by Katie Rodriguez Banister

Soul singer Tina Turner belts it out in a 1980’s pop hit: What’s love got to do with it? If you ask me, the answer is… EVERYTHING! I have always been in love with love: the concept, the courtship and all that goes with it. I am a girlie girl and will be until the day my wheels stop rolling.

I was born with legs that walked but in 1990 I survived a roll-over accident in my friend’s Samurai, a mini SUV. The accident left me a C5-C6 quadriplegic. Early on I thought, “Who is going to want me in this condition? I’ll spare you the therapists notes, but with their help, and by writing my own poetry and stories down on paper, I can now share my journey of how it took a wheelchair to find the man I love.

Steve is an incredible man, and I am in the healthiest relationship ever. Our road to today has been paved with patience and kindness. Steve wanted a girlfriend early on, but I wasn’t ready. He would try to put his arm on the back of my wheelchair but I would turn really fast before it could land. In fact, Steve waited a year and a half for a kiss — this man is patient!

I needed to take my time because I didn’t love myself, and you can’t fully love someone until you love yourself first. We’ve been together for 20 years now, and whether you observe Valentine’s Day or not, rest assured that thinking and making decisions from your heart will lead you to loving conclusions.

Recently I ran into a past boyfriend (Steve never felt threatened by this guy, no worries) and he said what I love to hear from people in my past: “My God, Katie, you are still the same!” I do not believe my accident happened for a reason, but I do believe things happen and you make reason of them. Yes, I’m still the same, but at the same time, oh, so different. Yet, with all that happened, I can honestly say, “I love myself” and mean it. I wish that for you, too.

Read our collection of stories and tips on dating and relationships here.


 

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