Mom Responds to Nasty Note Left After Parking in a Handicapped Spot

A routine family outing to Walmart took a sour turn after a nasty note was placed on the dashboard of a mother of two, Nikki Waller’s, car. The note, which reads “Reserved parking (expletive). Did your welfare check come today?” was left by an anonymous passerby who saw Waller park in a handicapped space.

Waller, who is legally entitled to park is such spaces, was granted a handicapped placard by the state of Pennsylvania. However, the placard is not for Waller, it is for her 7-year-old son, who has juvenile arthritis with myalgia and hypermobility disorder –– conditions which can make walking difficult and painful.

Saddened by the note’s ignorance, Waller took to Facebook to post a message of her own.

Her post reads:

So I went to Belle Vernon Walmart last night to get the boys a quick haircut. I came out to find this on my car. Those of you who know me know that it really angers me when people without handicap signs park in those spaces. So seeing that I was parked legally this was a little funny to me. But then I became sad. I am not sad for myself or for my son. I am sad for you…the author of this nice note. There are two words to describe you. The first is ignorance. I am saddened by the fact that you obviously saw my children and I pull into one of four empty handicap spaces, saw our ages, and made judgements. Unfortunately, it is the youngest member of our group who requires this space. I do not expect you to know all of his medical diagnoses, to pull up his pant legs to see the braces he wears on his legs, or to know that his liver is going to shit because of medication he needs every day. But I would expect you, as an adult, to think outside the box. You do not have to be 90 and have a walker to obtain handicap parking. The second word I would use to describe you is coward. You had the guts to leave this note for me after I left my car but not enough to question me about my reason for parking in that space. Had you even had the guts to approach me with a rude comment I would have been happy to educate you. Instead, you hid like a coward, making ignorant judgments. So your note did not affect me in the way you thought it would. It only made me feel sorry for you and people like you.

“Just because you see a woman and two kids get out of her car doesn’t mean they don’t need that sign,” Waller told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of America’s adult population live with a chronic health condition, many of whom would benefit from having a placard. Of those 117 million Americans living with a chronic condition, 53 million have arthritis, just like Waller’s son, Alex.

“I thought it was rude for people to do that because other people have problems too and you don’t see it,” Alex Waller said to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4.

While the signs of arthritis may not be visible from across a parking lot, its ability to limit mobility is real. A CDC study from 2014 found that 22 million Americans are limited in their regular activities due to arthritis pain.

“There are people with invisible diseases and illnesses who do need handicap parking. Just because 20 feet away they don’t look like they do they may have something going on that you don’t even know about,” Waller told the news station.

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