While we may downplay our wedding anniversary, there is one occasion that we both opt to celebrate each year because this date changed both of our lives in a more profound way than simply our exchanging vows. On November 11, 2013, I took my first steps as an amputee. It was an event that redefined our lives and marked the beginning of a new and wonderful chapter of our lives.
It is hard to believe that it has been 14 years since I took those first tentative steps. I remember the day with such clarity that it feels like it could have happened last week. I felt an overwhelming pressure that the prosthetic fitting had to be successful. I had fought so hard, and endured so much, that the possibility of another obstacle felt insurmountable. Slipping into the socket I remember hoping and wishing that the leg would fit and that I would be able to walk.
The first steps felt foreign, but I was encouraged by both Scott and Elliot (my prosthetist) to continue. Within minutes I was tooling around the office without crutches. It was liberating to have my arms untethered from the metal poles that had been my mobility for the past five years. Looking at the video it is obvious that my gait was awkward, but at the time I felt like I was strutting on a runway.
Tomorrow Scott and I will celebrate my Walking Day. We will watch the video and reminisce about our journey. I may even break my diet and indulge in a celebratory cupcake. After all, it is my Walking Day!