Tuesday, November 9, 2010 arrived with a clear early morning that promised to become a chilly, sunny, and typically autumn day. I zipped my coat, buckled my helmet strap, unlocked my bike, and headed off to work. A few minutes later, a garbage truck crossed a bike lane to make a right turn. I was in that bike lane. The tires of the truck crushed my left leg and caused other internal injuries. An amazing team of trauma surgeons saved my life, but they had to amputate my leg to do so.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Confucius.

In July 2011, I set off to walk a thousand miles as an above-knee amputee in my new prosthesis. The journey has held more twists, turns, and detours than I ever imagined.

I reached Mile 1000 on March 30, 2013.

But of course, that wasn't the end.

I'll keep walking!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sister Act


Mile Marker 3330:

I'm standing on a street corner in Manhattan with the person who makes me laugh the most.

My sister Sam.

We're laughing now as Mom tries to frame the two of us, along with the craziness of Times Square, in the tiny screen of my iPhone.  Good job, Mom...

(We laughed when Mom gave us these t-shirts too!)

A few hours earlier, Mom, Sam and I boarded a train in Trenton, NJ.   We minded the gap.  Found seats together.  Rolled into Manhattan.

We're celebrating Sam's birthday with lunch and a Broadway show.  It's been YEARS since we've had a Girls Day Out like this.  And it feels great.  Mostly.

Although I tried not to let on, I was nervous about the trip.  Long days worry me.  Being far from home worries me.  Walking worries me.

Luckily Sam takes the edge off.  She makes me smile when I get too serious.

Leg stuff aside, I feel pretty competent.  I've traveled.  I'm good at getting around new places.  The three of us share a pretty bad sense of direction, but mine is the best of the worst!

When we emerge from Penn Station, I lead us up 7th Avenue, through crowds watching the NYC Marathon on huge screens.

We cross over Broadway and locate the Glass House Tavern -- Mom's pick -- where we fill ourselves with warm quiche, Caesar salad, croissants, and homemade pastries.  Yum!

To top it off, we hit the 3-story M&M store.  There, to Mom's dismay, we snap a bunch of selfies.  If Sam's job is to help us goof off, Mom's job is to keep us in line!



And I guess my job is to get us where we're going.  I follow the addresses along 50th Street until we locate the theater.

Found it!

The show, Fun Home, is excellent.  But to get there, we hike down a long staircase from the lobby to the theater, and then another to the restrooms on yet a lower level.  Inside the theater, an usher motions us up a third set of stairs, then down a fourth flight toward the stage.  "Watch the trapdoors," he says.

Climbing stairs without railings?  Hard.
Avoiding trapdoors?  Easy!

We're this close!
When we finally sit down, we're one row behind the orchestra, and our view is great.  My leg, though, has a few complaints.  The seats are too deep and springy, and angled all the wrong way.  Plus we're trapped.  To escape during the show, we'd have to walk across the stage!

Normally, I'd feel cornered and maybe even panicked.  But with Sam next to me, I'm cool.  We open our bag of M&M's -- which turns out to be much too crinkly for the quiet theater.  This launches us into silent giggles just as the stage darkens.

After the show, I head down to the restroom for a major socket adjustment.  As I peel off layers -- pants, valve, socket, and liner -- the bustling bathroom goes still.  The post-show crowd has come and gone, and I'm left fumbling in the silence.  I rush to clean my liner, re-apply AdaptSkin, spray the seals with alcohol, and roll it all back on again.  I hear the cleaning crew come in and my mom, positioned at the door, tell them, "Someone's still in there."

I wish I could laugh it off, but I'm embarrassed.  And vulnerable.  And clumsy.

Mom and I eventually resurface in the lobby, where Sam is waiting.  As usual, she holds the punchline.  While I was doing my socket scramble, she got to watch every cast member come out in person.  Win-win!

We make the trip back down Broadway to 7th Avenue, pushing through the crowds toward Penn Station.  None of us wants the day to end.  It's too good to be together!

My socket's poking again, of course.  (Changing in a public bathroom is rarely a success.)  But I ignore it, and lead us to Track 12 where our train home awaits.

We mind the gap.  Find seats together.

Sam and I break out the M&M's and snap some more selfies.  Mom rolls her eyes a few times, but really, she loves every minute.  We do too!

We're all still laughing when we roll into Trenton.

4 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you were even the least bit uncomfortable on such a special day. But, as usual, you carried things off with great spirit, enthusiasm and grace, allowing us all to experience a happy and care-free Girls Day out! Sam and I loved every minute:)

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    1. I can never figure out how to comment on these! Hope this works :) I agree with mom. BEST DAY in a LONG time! Till next year!

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  2. Wait you stayed through the whole show?! No leaving at intermission?! Sounds like a wonderful girls day out. Shrug the public restroom thing off.

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  3. Hahaha! Yes, we stayed through the whole show! (It turns out that the best way to keep me in my seat is to trap me there!)

    We decided on the way home to make this an annual adventure, so stay tuned for more Sister Act adventures next year :)

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