Finally I have decided to share it with you..
Up until I lost my legs in a horrific train accident, (through no ones fault at the end of the day) the world for a 21 year old was pretty good. Fit and healthy. Full of life, one could even say ten foot tall and bullet proof. Weren’t we all at that age?
I don’t dwell on the past, never have, I’ll never forget a dear friend saying to me, “Look at where you’ve been to see where you’re going” so very true!
I adjusted pretty quickly to my new surroundings without legs. Just got on with it really. I like to think that I have a pretty positive attitude. Over the years, I have seen people having to prove some point or other by having to climb a mountain or bum their way up the “Kokoda Track” or somehow prove their normality.
Here’s the thing.. I considered myself ‘normal’, my boys saw me as no different to any other dad. Oh, they quickly worked out that they could test me to the limit and knew just how far to push the boundary. My work colleagues didn’t take too much notice of the fact that I was legless and in a wheelchair… After all I was another voice on the radio. Who needed legs to talk on air? So on it went.
I guess all things considered, I did ok.. I had my share of ups & downs like anyone else. My own demons to deal with. I did that in my own way coming to a place of peace within myself.
Then, the other day it turned upside down! I had a conversation with a disabled person who by choice had a leg surgically removed because this person did not like the way they looked and from what I gather didn’t like the way other people looked at them. I reacted perhaps a little surprised when I heard this.
Should I have reacted the way I did?
I questioned the ethic of this. Yes, it is your body and I guess you have the right to decide. Then I read about an art exhibition called “SPARE PARTS” this was a collection of prosthetics, all painted in a variety of colour & design. Innovative, I thought, until I did some further research. What I discovered is that these people nurture and caress these limbs in a way I personally find a little intriguing.
Is this normal, I asked myself?
Thomas S. Szasz sums it up rather well…
There are two kinds of “disabled” persons: Those who dwell on what they have lost and those who concentrate on what they have left.
Personally I prefer the latter.