The Fourth of July might be tomorrow, but today I'm celebrating my personal Independence Day. Fifteen years ago this morning I embarked on a journey that changed my life. In many ways it feels like a different lifetime, yet at the same time I remember the emotions as if it were yesterday.
I think about that day fifteen years ago and the fear, grief and confusion that I felt on that morning envelopes me. I feel sad, but probably not for the reasons that people expect. I no longer spend my Ampuversary mourning the loss of my limb.
Instead of mourning, this morning I feel sad as I reflect upon the memories. I was so scared that morning fifteen years ago. Feeling lost, all I could do was to remind myself to keep breathing. I couldn't speak without crying, yet I knew in my heart that I needed to sacrifice my broken limb for a chance at a better life. I wish that I hadn't been as petrified, but I don't think I could have done anything to prevent my primal emotional response.
It feels surreal that fifteen years have passed since that petrifying morning. I wish I could go back in time to reassure myself that I was going to be okay. (Of course, I probably wouldn't have believed myself!)
So much has changed in the fifteen years since becoming an amputee. I hoped for a better life, yet reality has exceeded any hopes and wishes made so many years ago. I have a fantastic life.
Being an amputee is only one adjective that is used to define who I am. I have two wonderful kids who call my Momom. I never would have been able to be the mother they deserve when I was struggling to salvage my foot. I have a new career, and I am involved in an amazing community of peers. I am extremely blessed, and that is what I am choosing to celebrate today. Happy Ampuversary to me!