Gimme What You Got

Male amputee showing the use of a prosthetic limbI’ve just come home from a walk down the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California. It is the runway for fashion and talent, as tourists and locals express themselves to each other and hope to be noticed.

I had been trying on sports clothes in my favorite store, but the music was so loud, I couldn’t take it. I left without a bag.

I gave a couple of bucks to a woman singing ‘proud woman’ songs while moving about in her wheelchair. She touched my heart. So easy to give up, she was out there too!

As I proceeded, I passed a young man – not unlike the man in this photo. He walked with even grace, but both his right arm and right leg stopped at the joint and were extended mechanically. I noticed his limbs and looked at his eyes to smile. His eyes caught mine before he looked away. I saw on his face what I know from my own experience as shame. As a younger girl, I could not look at the handsome boys; I felt humiliated just being who I was. It seemed to me (my projection) that the pain in his heart was at least as great as the pain he had endured in his body.

I wanted to turn around and touch his shoulders and say, “It’s okay. You still have so much to share.” But I didn’t. Then the thought crossed my mind: “I want to work with disabled veterans.” I want them to know that they still deserve the love of a pretty girl. I want them to know that, like all who have suffered great losses, the life that comes after is what you make it.

Believe it or not, as I continued down the street, I passed two men moving furniture. I spoke to them kindly. And then I noticed that the truck they drove is for the charity for Disabled Veterans.

And to that, I say, “Okay. I hear you.”

Whatever you’ve lost up until now, what’s next is up to you. What will you create with what you have left?

Show me your stuff.

Gimme what you got!