When my grandmother experienced the removal of her leg, I never imagined such a thing could happen to me. She was in her 70’s, if memory serves me correctly. The circulation in one leg slowed and clotted. It caused her outrageous pain.
Our family settled into the thought, she was dying. You may wonder why.
She suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis. It pained her daily. She’d had hips replaced, toe and finger joints removed, and required crutches to walk.
We knew she valued each part of her pain filled body.
Once, she’d been like any girl. I hear she had tomboy tendencies like my butterfly in cowboy boots. She climbed trees and rode a bicycle. Her adventurous spirit couldn’t be held back, or so we thought.
She lived a life of generosity, in spite of physical limitations. When she could barely move, she called people and encouraged them with what she had, her voice. But the pain persisted.
She became a character in a Bible verse no one wants to live.
“And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.” Mark 9:45
Grandma’s leg probably wasn’t leading her into hell, but it certainly caused her to stumble. This is not advocating a Taliban-like approaches to the world, simply an observation, based on personal thought and struggle.
When her pain centered leg clotted and screamed in agony, our family thought the end was near. She would never part with the offensive leg. No way!
But when the pain became more than her petite body could handle, she instructed the doctors to remove it. My strong, yet frail, Grandma became completely wheelchair bound. And her life continued. Her voice called out. Her smiled poured out God’s love onto anyone who dared to gaze at her sweetly struggling face.
In spite of the challenges, she never doubted God’s presence or love. She knew it and flourished in it where the darkness closes in and swallows others. In faith, she flew.
With all this in mind, I consider my coming amputation. It’s not a leg or a hand or even a toe. My offensive body part sits within a space I use to bless and curse others. It’s decay and decomposition threaten other parts of my body, yet I still love it. How odd.
If you read the post entitled, There’s a hole in my crown, you know the start, or seeming start to this struggle. But now, I share my fear. On Thursday, the dentist will remove a tooth, permanently. Don’t roll your eyes at me. In my post, My teeth look like your teeth, you see how I value teeth.
I know it’s just a tooth, but I like that tooth. It ground up some of my favorite morsels. When I’m tense, I fidget with it throughout the day (a big part of my problem). I’ve used and appreciated that little sucker everyday for at least thirty or more years. (If you thought I was sharing my age, haha, you were wrong.)
It feels as if I’m living that nasty Bible verse mentioned above. Did the tooth cause me to stumble? No. But I’m sure my mouth does.
If anything good can come from my amputation (that’s how I think of it), perhaps the hole in my mouth can help me recall wisdom with my words. I need that, do you?
It would have been nice, if I could have learned the lesson earlier. I’m sure my Grandmother wished her leg could have pumped blood better. But there is still more to do.
I would not enjoy hearing any news stories about the blogger who inspired people to cut off body parts.
Speaking strictly figuratively, if you had some offensive part amputated, what would it be? What causes you to stumble?