Turning Points – A Mother’s Perspective
It happened and from now on this is our reality. In that fateful moment the entire family was plunged into a dizzying spiral that words cannot describe. One telephone call and in a split second life turns upside down. I am a mother, and mothers are meant to protect their children. For 18 years I succeeded. And suddenly, in one moment, a voice, that sounds like it’s coming out of the freezer, tells me that there was an incident in my son’s army base and he has been injured. Strangers to these circumstances will not understand this turning point. The point that becomes a long and continuous process, as we attempt to digest this reality that has been chosen for us. Our little boy who put on his army fatigues for the first time only a month ago has been transformed from a handsome young man to a disabled army veteran with an amputated right leg.
The voice also told us that our boy had undergone an operation. He was in recovery and was able to speak. A boy that grew up in a home where openness and cooperation are the basis for everything does not hesitate for a moment to say things for what they are. “Mom, they cut off my leg. Come quickly.” On a most personal level, this sentence from my son was the turning point for me.
For my son, the turning point took place only several weeks later as he digested his loss and stopped asking me, his mother, to return to him that which had been taken. In that moment, I saw that he had reached a decision. Not just acceptance, but a decision.
My son’s turning point has enraptured our family, and everyone that meets him. Sentences like “You sound cut off,” and “Special sale: give a leg, get a car” (Israel provides vehicles to individuals who became leg amputees during the course of their army service) are just examples of the type of humor and language that has become normal in our house.
Today, exactly five year later, I can say with certainty that even when reality is not up to us and seems to rip our life from right beneath our feet, we have the power to choose. To choose, even when it is difficult, even when everything seems impossible and no solution is in sight.
You need to meet my son today to understand. For those who didn’t choose amputation and had the decision forced on them, speak to him and understand that beneath the difficulty hides an opportunity. In his own eyes, and in the eyes of others, he is the ultimate man. For me, his mother, he will always be my little boy. My little boy runs and jumps, works out at the gym everyday, bikes and has even gone skiing. Everyday he tests and pushes his own personal boundaries, something that probably would not have happened had he not been injured. ‘The sky is the limit’ is not just an empty motto for him. It is his daily reality.
I spoke of a perfect, handsome 18 year old boy. Today, he is a 23 year man, and even more perfect. And his objective mother is not the only one who thinks so
This reality can also be yours. Lessons that life has taught my son and our family:
- It’s not worth fighting reality. Rather, choose the best way to deal with it.
- It’s simply not true that life with two legs is better than life with one.
- “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. That’s a choice one can and should adapt.
- A warm smile and a positive outlook on life make it possible to emerge from any difficulty even greater than you were before the experience.