A few weeks ago my son and daughter each auditioned for a play. I wasn’t sure either of them would make call-backs or not, let alone land a part. I thought about what I’d say to them if they didn’t get a part or if they were disappointed in their part. I was surprised at myself that “It will be fine,” or “It’s for the best,” were two of the glib, stock phrases of encouragement that came to mind. My gut recoiled at the thought of uttering those words to my children. In essence, those were the phrases spoken to me by so many people after my accident, along with “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle.” At the time, those words were infuriating. They didn’t acknowledge my pain and grief; they didn’t offer me a road map. Those phrases went from where I was, point A, to where the speaker believed I could go, point Z. In those moments of utter pain and misery, I was just trying to get to point B.
But in thinking about those words now, so many years later, I see their truth. When I look at myself, I did handle my amputation. Everything did turn out fine. And I can say in all honesty, my amputation was for the best. Being an amputee has enriched my life on more levels than the pain, frustration, and fear have reduced it.
I can go back to each of my disappointments in life and realize that each of them was for the best, because each of them was a part of the road map that brought me here, to this life, right now. And while I continue to want more from life, I can say that, right now, this is enough.
Will I ever say, “It’s for the best” to my kids when they come across disappointments? Likely. But I know I’ll follow it up with a lot more than that. I know that I will try to help find Point B.