In his own words, today's profile comes from Norman Wagler.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Growing up with one leg shorter than the other wouldn’t have been so bad, but I also had a hook for a hand. So many people thought I limped because the hook was so heavy. They had no idea that at age ten, bone was removed from my left leg, just below the knee. That’s why one leg was shorter than the other. Not because I was born that way. I wasn’t. I was born with both legs the same length and I used to be able to wear pants right off the rack with no need for alterations. Then the hook hand. That’s a whole other story. Don’t get me started on the hook hand. But can you believe I met and married a girl that also has a hook hand. And a baboon heart. Boy, are we a pair. A match made in heaven. A match made in heaven and in the hospital. We’ve got so many health problems we may as well live in a glass room at the hospital where doctors can probe and observe us all day. (Obviously, there would be a curtain we’d pull during certain intimate times between the two of us. I probably shouldn’t say this--no I won’t say it. Well ok. I’ll tell you. She loves sex.)
Her name is Martha. Lovely, isn’t it. Admit it. When you hear the name Martha, you don’t just assume that’s a person with a hook hand. I mean, if you got a call from your office partner and he said, “Guess what. I’m going on a date with a girl named Martha.” I’ll bet you don’t think, “Martha, huh. Try not to get your fancy shirt snagged on the hook.” Your first thought is probably something like, flowers or baked apple pie or a sunset on a beach that doesn’t smell like rotting fish. That’s Martha.
We met at a support group for people with prosthesis. I didn’t notice her at first because I was watching another girl demonstrate how quickly she could remove her prosthetic foot, use it to hit a whiffle ball in the air, then re-attach the foot and catch the whiffle ball in her mouth before it hit the ground. Impressive, to be sure. But the foot’s titanium and that has a lot to do with it. I didn’t notice Martha until I had attended the support group two more times.
Martha and I have been married for 17 years now. We don’t appreciate the stares we get when we walk down the street, hook in hook. But what can you do? You just deal with the cards you were dealt. Martha limps too, now. A condition that the doctors are calling a sympathy limp. I think it’s sweet. I think it’s a sign of her love and devotion for me. It’ll be nice when we both get to heaven and our bodies will be restored to their perfect state. And I’ll say to that other girl, let’s see you hit a whiffle ball now, hot-shot.