That morning I had sent an email to the girls in the office that I eat lunch with each day and said I had some news to tell them if they all had time for a break. I figured it would be easiest to tell everyone at once.
They each wanted to know what it was about but there was no quick way to sum it up. Like H or even the boss I hadn’t really ever discussed my leg with the girls. It’s not that I didn’t consider them friends it was just, well it never really came up. I think it was a combination of politeness on their part and a desire to not be seen as the disabled girl from me.
I didn’t know where to begin so armed with the brochure (it was becoming very handy) I just jumped right in.
Instantly it became almost like an education session in artificial legs. Suddenly my leg was in the spotlight and they had the chance to ask all the questions they had maybe always wanted to know but never felt right asking.
Questions were fired like an automatic rifle. They told me I had never spoke about it so they simply never asked.
To be honest, despite them being my friends it was quite confronting. It’s not that I am ashamed of my leg per say but I have just never felt entirely comfortable with it being the focus. I don’t talk about it, as I don’t want it be my identity. I just want to be Miranda, the friend and journalist who happens to have one leg and not Miranda with one leg. At the same token it was nice to finally be able to talk about something that is still a huge part of my life whether I want it be or not.
And with this operation and if I want to tell my story than this something that I am just going to have to get used to.
One of the girls made the comment that at least since I have had it since birth then I am used to it and better off than someone who lost their leg in an accident. I bristled at this. I know she didn’t mean any malice but it still hurt all the same.
Another who seemed quite squeamish about the operation, without seemingly thinking about it said there was no way she would want a metal rod sticking out of her leg.
This stung. Of course, I would prefer to have two legs and not need this operation at all but that wasn’t the card life dealt me.
“It’s far better than the alternative I have now,” I told her.
Ultimately it was a lunch filled with sequels of excitement, pledges of support and promises that they will visit.
Later one of the girls told me how privileged she felt that I had been so open and honest about everything.
I was touched.