My father lost his leg to disease.
I was with him on the night before the surgery wondering why he didn’t talk about the planned amputation in the morning. I was more worried than he was if that was possible.
Following surgery and rehab, he was fitted for a prosthesis, drove a car (it was his right leg that was amputated so he had a special adapted accelerator on the left side under the steering wheel).
He wallpapered rooms (a one-legged paperhanger he used to say). Planted and harvested a garden every year. Worked. Did almost anything everyone else did.
I’m sure he wished that he had his leg back (and he did complain of phantom pains in his foot that no longer existed – something doctors said was normal). But he never talked about that.
He accepted the inevitable because he knew there was no way to change it.
In our lives with perhaps lesser challenges, it is still important to know what can be changed and what cannot and to accept what cannot to live a full, happy life.
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