Just One Second, This Second

I have felt this grief before, I have felt this deep longing this deep deep ache that seeps down all the way to the pit of my soul. So deep that I can’t catch my breath. I literally can not take a breath in that moment. I felt it the moment my mom took her last breath. I walked out into her front yard and with my friend in front of my and my husband behind me, I exhaled. I released the pain that was anchoring me in that moment. In that moment I wanted nothing more than to have my mama back but I knew nothing on earth would change the fact that mere moments before I had laid next to her, held her in my arms as she walked in the arms of Jesus.

The next time I felt that grief was the moment I woke up from my 8th surgery. The surgery that I knew before I laid on that gurney would be the one that would take my foot. The nurses said my body was racked with sobs before I was even fully conscious. Just like the night in my mama’s front yard, there was that pain that had become so familiar, that ache that had made its home deep in my soul. I wanted more than anything to have my foot back but I knew nothing on earth would change that mere moments before I was a whole person and in that moment I laid in that bed less. No longer 2 feet but 1.

In that moment it was just one second at a time, that second.  4 days later I would have a revision to form my stump so I would lose even more of my leg, but it didn’t matter because nothing would hurt more than the moment I woke up from that 8th surgery and couldn’t take that breath. It’s been almost 10 years since my mom died and I still get those moments of deep grief where just for a moment, that one moment I want more than anything to have my mom back. I can’t catch my breath but I tell myself “just one second, this second.”

The last few days I have been having those moments. No matter what I do, no matter how bad I want it, I will never be able to grow a new leg. There is no hope for a cure when you are an amputee. On days like today when all I wanted to do was get up and walk around the church with my husband. I wanted to stand in front of the church back drop and take a picture. I don’t want to live another day in this chair. I look down at my one foot of painted toes and just want so badly, Father God please I just want my foot back. Yet I know that will never happen. And there it is, I can’t breathe, but just one second, this second is all I have to do.

If only people could understand that having and wearing a prosthetic isn’t that easy. If only it was as simple as some think and make it out to be, it’s an ok second choice if I could get into one that I can actually wear. Having one and not being able to use it is like a constant reminder that just out of my reach is freedom that I can’t have. But just breathe, one second, this second.

These collection of seconds are what get me through each day. The days when I just want to pull the blankets over my head and cry. Days like today, but I try to remind myself that everyone has something they struggle with and although it may be different for them it is just as serious to them as my amputation is to me. So I pray that their seconds help them get through their days a little easier. They being whoever is in my life dealing with something.

I miss things, I miss going on water slides, and wearing jeans. I miss doing things without having to worry about handicap accessibility. I miss walking beside my husband instead of always having him behind me pushing me.  I miss just feeling “normal.” I pray that my collection of seconds become less about that deep pain that takes my breath and becomes more about living life and capturing memories. I am tired of sitting on the sidelines, of letting that breath seizing, time stopping, soul pounding grief hold me back, I want to fully step in2 my destiny.


The Amputee in Me

  What do you see when you look in the mirror? Honestly I don’t know if anybody’s image of themselves in their head matches the image they see in the mirror. That is defiantly the case when you are an amputee. Regardless if you wear a prosthesis all the time or if you spend most of your days in a wheelchair at some point you see your body for the first time after it has been anatomically changed. I won’t speak for anyone else but I don’t think I will ever get use to that sight. This month will be the two year anniversary of my amputation and a few days ago I caught my reflection as I wheeled by a mirror and it took my breath away, I said to myself “No wander little kids stare.”

   I look at this thing every day and it still takes my breath away it shouldn’t surprise me that children, strangers, or even people that have yet to see me as an amputee are taken back by the sight of me. In my mind because I live with me every day and my children live with me every day it is normal, but it’s not. It Is not normal to have a part of your body “hacked” off (my husband hates when I use that word). On Rizzoli and Isles Dr. Isles makes the statement that Cause of Death is “Death by traumatic amputation” and I think to myself, hold on a minute is there an amputation that isn’t traumatic? Dang, why didn’t I sign up for that surgery, I am sure I would have liked that better.

   Ok now, I know not everyone will appreciate my humor, however anyone that has been through what I have been though, and seen what I have seen in life has to use something to get through it, and I use humor. I laugh at myself and most of the time others laughing at me and that makes me laugh harder. There is 100% truth to the saying that laughter is the best medicine, it can heal or fix anything.

    Writing is the other thing I do, write about this life, my journey, this walk. Or roll should I say since most of my days are spent in a wheelchair. So what do you see when you look in the mirror, do you see who you were in high school, or when you were 20 years younger? No matter who you see God sees the real you and he loves all of who you are even when you aren’t able to love yourself. He loves us at our highest and lowest, when you wake up after your 9th surgery and half your leg gone and the sobs are so deep that the air doesn’t move through your body, he loves. I am still stepping in to my life. I hope you are to.