“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
This has been one busy week in the world and in the news. With all the sadness, grief, and terror that has happened, it forces me into gratitude. It’s not that I don’t have gratitude in other times, I just think that when bad stuff happens, it forces us to be very grateful for our current statuses in life, even when we are going through hard times. I think when we practice gratitude, it doesn’t take away from our difficulties and challenges, but it adds perspective to them. It makes us see that whatever we are going through, it is not over yet, because we are still standing, still breathing, and still able to meet the next challenge.
One of the things I’ve been reflecting on, as it pertains to the Boston Marathon bombings are the people that have suffered amputations this week as a result of injuries from the bombing. According to the Boston Globe, there were 14 people who suffered amputations. My mother and I both said special prayers for those people. We couldn’t help but think about my dad, who in the last years of his life had to endure an amputated leg. Other than the physical pain and disability that is associated with losing a limb, there is an enormous amount of mental and emotional pain that amputees will face. I must preface this by saying I am not a medical professional, so I will only be speaking from what my dad experienced. But there was this unbelievable pain that my dad experienced in the “leg that was not there.” This of course was more emotional than anything, but if you can imagine being able to walk all your life and then not being able to get up and walk because a part of you no longer exists, this is extremely challenging.
Then there was the physical therapy that my dad had to endure. He had to learn to live life with one leg. My dad eventually qualified for a prosthesis, but there was lots of complications with that as well. He had to find one that would fit. He actually went through a couple of “legs” before he found a decent fit. There were many times that he fell and fell out of his prosthesis as he was getting used to it. Then there was more physical therapy to learn how to live life with a prosthesis. And the cost of the prosthetic leg was not cheap!
After my dad died, I graciously donated my dad’s “legs” to a physical therapy unit in a nursing home. I certainly hope my dad’s prosthesis’ were able to help someone else through their difficult transition as an amputee.
I couldn’t stop thinking this week about the people who woke up on the morning of the Boston Marathon thinking that this was going to be an ordinary day and ended the day losing a limb. I ask you to not only continue praying for Boston, but to say a special prayer for the survivors, specifically those who have suffered amputations.
God, please comfort the survivors of the Boston bombing who suffered amputations and guide them through the valleys of their difficult loss. Amen