I can’t skip very well, but I can skip a different way,” 4 year old amputee Ezra Frech when asked if there was anything he couldn’t do after receiving his new prosthetic leg. ~ by ABC News Reporter, Brian O’Keefe
O’Keefe wrote this in an article that tells the story of this young boy receiving his prosthetic after having a leg removed when he was only three. In the interview, his mother is quoted as saying, “Virtually every person he comes across, he teaches them about acceptance and appreciation of a diverse world.”
Ezra’s wisdom of recognizing though he may not be like most children his age, he is able to accept, adapt, and embrace what he can do sets a great example for anyone navigating the new normal. Sometimes circumstances in life make it difficult not to feel broken or less than.
Certainly, there were times when the physical impact of Gary’s cancer treatments meant he couldn’t do things he had prior to his diagnosis. Instead of letting this stop him, he became a genius at workaround solutions and also developed a newfound patience with himself that was wonderful to witness. It is important to find ways to conserve and refuel.
For me, my new normal revolved around the changes that occurred when I was widowed. Losing your spouse at any age is tragic. Losing Gary so early on in our life together was just plain weird. I absolutely felt broken, different and not a member of the tribe. In the first year on my own, I would roll the term ‘widow’ over and over in my head trying to understand this new, unwanted part of my identity. I had to find my own workarounds and dip deep into my well of patience to find my new normal.
Ezra’s story highlighted the beauty of appreciating that we can find our own way to go on in life when we face a new normal. His mother’s observation reminded me that when we draw on the spirit of people like Ezra, and go on, we can become an inspiration to ourselves and others.
While skipping with a prosthetic leg may take Ezra more focus and practice, by choosing to take on a harder challenge than other kids his age Ezra is building the muscle of someone who is unstoppable. In the end, in life when challenges present themselves we can choose to give up because it is hard or we can choose navigate our new normal with the enthusiasm of a four-year-old. Therein lies grace.