Today while on my daily hike, I waved to a woman
who I frequently see on the trail.
She's a slower hiker but always makes it to the top of the trail.
I passed her on the way up and smiled (since both of us have earphones in).
She smiled back and made her usual facial expression which showed exhaustion,
but lots of determination.
Several minutes later after I had made it to the top,
I was on my way down passing her again.
This time she waved her hands and gestured to me to take my earphones out.
So I did, and she said in between breaths:
"Wow!! If only I had your strong legs..."
I appreciated her words of kindness and encouragement
probably more than she will ever know.
If only she knew that just a few short years ago, I couldn't even stand up or
stretch my legs without horrible pain or my skin ripping off my bones.
If only she knew the bleeding, the surgeries, and the therapy I endured.
If only she knew that most of the skin that covered them
were either from other parts of my body, or
grown in an incubator in Boston and surgically grafted on.
If only she knew the thousands and thousands of tears I shed
while recovering and pushing myself harder and harder to get better.
If only she knew the billions of prayers I offered up to
God to sustain and carry me when my legs couldn't.
These amazing legs of mine have been through some tough stuff,
but without fail they carry me up all kinds of mountains every single day.
I realize they are not attractive or even normal in appearance,
but they are MY LEGS!
And they work just fine.
I'm so thankful for them.
They are proof that I am a survivor, and I can do hard things.
And I have the scars to prove it.