The Man with One Leg

The other day in the parking lot at the library, my children and I saw a man with only one leg. We had just read a book the day before about manners and how it is impolite to stare.

They could not quit staring. The man was hobbling to his trunk to assemble a scooter that looked very similar to the manual scooters my kids have in the garage.

I kept telling the man to have a good day while trying to usher my kids inside. On my third attempt he smiled at me and said, “It is okay for them to watch me.”

Maddi was impressed, “We have scooters, too! And Jordan can go faster than me. But, I tell him ‘it’s not a race!’”

“Why do you only have one foot?” Jordan asked.

“Because many years ago I had bone cancer,” the man replied.

“Do you have a knee?” Jordan wanted to know.

“No, I don’t have a knee,” the man wiggled his pant leg for us to see that his leg had been amputated at the hip.

“Why don’t you use crutches?” Jordan continued.

“Because after awhile they start to hurt my arms,” the man said.

We followed him into the library. He waited for us by the door and held it open for us, balancing on the seat of the scooter using his other leg to maneuver. The man’s spirit was light and welcoming.

I thought about my own loss. About how I have often told people, “If I could have my life with Shawn back I wouldn’t waste our time on things that do not matter.”

I wondered what this man would say about his leg. If I could have my leg back, I would never again complain about having to walk too far when the parking lot is full. I would never miss my chance for morning exercise where I don’t even have to think twice if my legs can handle it. I would never take for granted getting in and out of my car with ease without ever having to assemble an apparatus each and every time I wanted to go somewhere.

How easy it is to never think about a blessing in our lives until it is forever gone.

Thank you, God for my two legs, two arms, two hands, two eyes, two ears, two children and numerous chances within each day to be thankful.

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