January 1, Denise Franklin

Implausible Gratitude

It may seem implausible to place gratitude and amputation in the same sentence or even the same thought. And, indeed, the two may not actually occur simultaneously, but one can experience both.

I should know because both of them happened to me.

One night, I found myself in the hospital hearing the news that I had an infection down to the bone. Gangrene had set in, and doctors had taken my foot. They would have to take more of my limb later.

I would end up with no leg below my right calf.

My first reaction was disbelief, followed by gratitude that I was alive. That gratitude for life would eventually morph into a realization that the amputation had forced me to slow down, contemplate life, sit with and listen to God.

Though I have always been strong, the amputation taught vulnerability and humility; the core of those lessons resides in the plan God has for me.

I have always had a sense of the genuine nature of people, but during this time, my discernment sharpened about the people who came in and out of my life. It is my prayer that I hold on to all the lessons I have learned from surviving amputation and abandoning the frenetic pace of the world for the still moments with God.

My faith was and is unwavering, but these uninterrupted moments with God allow me to see in real time how the world would continue to rotate on its axis whether or not I was present.  At the same time, I realize we all have the capacity to make our mark on the universe, and we should do it while we have the chance.  My sense of discernment about my dreams has grown by leaps and bounds.

By losing part of my body, I have gained more of my soul .  I am truly grateful.

–Denise Franklin

Winston-Salem, North Carolina


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