Anniversaries are perhaps the unintentional result of any life changing event. It is human nature to remember the date that set our lives on a different course. Some anniversaries are happy, and some are solemn and sometimes sad.
This past July I celebrated my 10 year Ampuversary. Although I tried to reflect upon how wonderful my life has become since I began my journey as an amputee, I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of sadness. I had planned to be happy but ended up mourning my limb loss. Of course, the fact that I was also swarmed by a group of angry tracker jackers and ended up in the hospital did not enhance my celebratory mood!
Today I am honoring another anniversary related to my amputation, although this date fills me with nothing but joy, excitement and pride. Today is my Walking Day. Ten years ago this morning I crutched into my Prosthetists office, scared and unsure about my ability to adapt to a prosthesis. I felt trapped inside my own body, a stranger to myself and doubting my decision to amputate. I felt a sense of despair that I will never forget.
I didn't know what to expect with my first prosthesis. I was surprised by both the weight and the geriatric and sterile look of the device. Despite my fears, I slipped it on and took a leap of faith (literally). Within minutes I was tooling around his office, walking without crutches for the first time in almost 6 years. An hour later I left his office, walking on both feet. Although it wasn't always easy and I encountered a steep learning curve, those first few tentative steps showed me that I could do this, that I could learn to use a prosthesis. Ten years ago today, I took my first steps towards reclaiming my life.
My husband has forgotten birthdays and wedding anniversaries, but he has always remembered my Walking Day. Scott was by my side throughout my recovery and deserves to lay claim to this milestone in our lives. Robby, although he wasn't born yet, has learned the importance of my Walking Day and is eager to help me celebrate. (Although, to be completely honest he is his mother's child and loves any occasion that involves cake.)