Saturday, 24 August 2013

Favorite Thing Friday: My Legs

No, I don't think my legs are amazing (although I do like them better than my arms). I'm writing this because I am thankful for having some, and you should be too.

A picture of me standing in Times Square, showing some leg!
For your viewing pleasure :)
This is actually an old joke in college that my girlfriend used to say to me. I would be complaining about how hard working two jobs and going to school was, or how my boyfriend lied to me about being high on drugs. I would be feeling tired, frustrated or down and out about something, and finally my friend would tip back her glass of wine, look at me in the eyes and say sternly:

“Well, you still have your legs.” 

We would laugh, I would agree, smarten up and feel better about my life. It was a reminder that life could always be worse.

This little statement has stayed with me since. It hit home one day when I was feeling down, on my way to visit my Dad in the hospital last year. I was tired. I had been living out of a suitcase at my sisters house. My boyfriend of two years who I thought I was going to marry had just left me - unexpectedly, when I needed him the most, and my Dad was recovering from brain surgery. Uh, I remember thinking, why me? This sucks.

It was about 8:30 in the morning, so there was high traffic. Everyone was out and about, on their way to somewhere, when I approached the front doors of the hospital, only to walk in the same doors that a man in a wheelchair was coming out of. We almost bumped into each other but I managed to step aside, hold the door open, and let him pass. By looking at him, I would say he was about 40 years old. I hope I didn't stare much, but I couldn't help but notice the two stumps he had for thighs - and that's it. No shins or feet. Omg, I remember thinking. I lifted my chin and walked into the hospital.

“Well,” I thought, “I still have my legs.”

Last week, I was in NYC. We had just finished a tour of NBC Studios that morning at Rockefeller Plaza, and were going to start making my way to Yankee stadium to watch the ball game.

I asked the kind police officer standing in front of all the flags which subway would take us there.

“Go straight up that block and take a right. There's the subway station there that you need to go to, to get on the D train.”

Great, thank you sir.

And off we went. A few short seconds after we turned, making our way to the subway station, we heard a crash and a women screaming. We looked at each other in alarm and started running back across the street.

I'll never forget what I saw.

Some pedestrians had been struck by a cab, and one of them was laying face down in a flower bed, missing half of her leg.

“Omg.”

It was worse than what you see in the movies, and I had missed being a part of this accident by seconds.

This poor lady. It was a mess. But the police were there shortly, she was getting help, and the area was getting very crowded, so we left. We didn't want to get in the way of those helping.

We started walking back to our subway station. We turned right and headed down the stairs. That's when it hit me: I still have my legs.

I later heard that the women was a 23 year old tourist from Britain. It was her first day visiting the city, and the famous Dr. Oz was one of the first people on the scene to help. He and a bystander saved her life by making a tourniquet out of a belt and tying it around her leg where it had been cut off. I also learned later that her severed foot was not able to be re-attached.

I thought of this incident all day. I thought of how I walked down the stairs to the subway, and I was going to do yoga later. 

Something this person will not be able to do again, if ever, for a very long time.

It was sobering, and left me feeling sad and gracious at the same time.

 The flags at Rockerfeller Plaza, taken the day of the accident.
Health is often something that people take for granted on a daily basis.

Don't do that today. Be thankful.

You still have your legs.

Thanks for reading,

Lisa