my brother ben.

July 7, 2012

I’ve recently started going to a ballroom dance class. My first time I was a little nervous because of all the hand holding with complete strangers. It’s interesting seeing who notices, who doesn’t, and who needs a few double-takes. But I love dancing, so I decided not to care and just be myself. 

Tonight I had the honor of meeting my new friend, Ben. Ben was in a farm machinery accident around age 5 and lost his left arm. He leads his wife around the dance floor like a pro. I introduced myself and we swapped stories. You don’t have to fill in the blanks when you’re family. You already know. So I said, “I play guitar.” Ben looked right at me and said, “You have everything you need.” 

Ben kissed both of my cheeks at the end of the dance party and I will never forget him. 

loss unifies.

June 24, 2011

i met a fellow finger-amputee today in the bakery. i handed him his cookies and he said, “hey! you’re like me.” he showed me his missing ring finger and we talked for a moment like it was the most casual thing in the world. i wish there hadn’t been a line. we only had the opportunity to exchange a few words. i wanted to talk to him for hours, as if he were my long lost uncle.

i think a lot of amputees would agree. we’re all bonded together even as strangers. loss unifies.