I Am Thankful For
Friday, September 25, 2009
Being laid up for a few weeks with my knee injury and knee surgery gave me a lot of time to sit and think. Several friends at work and several friends on Spark suggested I use that time to reflect and so I did. As I endured the inconvenience of trying to find elevators instead of using stairs or finding handicap ramps, while I tolerated crowds of people oblivious of anyone around them that bumped me on my crutches, when I struggled through narrow passageways on my crutches and when I found those places that were not yet equipped to handle disabled people, I tried to imagine what it would be like to live like that every day. I had an end date. I knew when I would go down from two crutches to one crutch and then one crutch to none. I could write the dates on a calendar. I realized that I cannot even imagine what it would be like to have no end date. I cannot even imagine having to live my life like that for the rest of my life. I realized I have a lot to be thankful for.
Sometimes when I referee a soccer game I see a kid in a wheelchair cheering for someone in the game and I realize that kid will never get to play soccer. I reflect for a moment on that child’s plight but then my thoughts quickly return to the game taking place in front of me. But now I realize it is much more than a missed opportunity to play what I consider to be the greatest sport ever. It is a daily endurance of going up ramps, finding elevators, getting stuck in narrow passageways and getting bumped around in an intolerant world. So in addition to being thankful that I have two healthy legs to run up and down a soccer field for 90 minutes and the mental capacity to memorize books on the laws of soccer, I also realized that I have so much more to be thankful for. Here are some of the other things I am thankful for:
My health, my children’s health, medical insurance, a free country where I could choose my doctor, arthroscopic surgery, general anesthesia, pain medication, a job with sick time, an understanding boss, a Blackberry and virtual private network so I could work from home during my recovery, a wife that was willing to drive me everywhere, a doctor that specializes in knees and is the doctor for the U.S. Men’s National Soccer team, the game of soccer (football to the rest of the world), supportive friends, supportive family, supportive neighbors, fellow referees that told me about my doctor, ice packs, crutches, elevators, handicap ramps and my list goes on.
I hope I never forget what it was like and I never lose my appreciation for what I so often take for granted.