“Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.” – B. Ashton
(Excerpt from my #1 National Bestselling Book ON FIRE.)
Here he comes again.
He’s been around for as long as I’ve been here. He’s the guy in charge of my bandage change. He’s the one who gets me out of bed, on a gurney, down the hall, to the tub, and back.
He’s a huge guy. He looks just like Apollo Creed. You know, the big boxer who fights Rocky? Yeah, when he’s not fighting Rocky, he’s working here. I call him Big Roy.
And he used to be my favorite nurse.
He used to be the one I’d ask for because he was so gentle. He was the best at carefully getting me out of bed, rolling me to the bathtub, and tenderly setting me in it.
He used to be the best.
But now he’s the worst.
I’m not sure why.
The past few days he still comes into my room, but he hasn’t been putting me on a gurney.
Instead he comes in, unstraps the Velcro that fastens me to the bed, picks me up, holds me upright, and tries to make me walk to the bandage-change room.
My legs dangle between his.
Doesn’t he know I can’t walk? Doesn’t he know my legs don’t work?
My feet don’t even touch the floor.
But my feet and legs throb like heck. All the blood races down to them. It causes a huge burning in my legs. I tell him to put me down. To roll me back. I tell him it hurts. I tell him to stop.
Instead of listening, he gets mean about it.
My legs drag on the floor between his, and he says to me, “Boy, you are going to walk again. You might as well get used to it. Come on, I’ll walk with you.”
Seriously. Can you believe that?
I mean, what is he thinking?
My legs are still completely wrapped in bandages. And what’s underneath those bandages is a mess.
I can’t bend my legs. I can’t put weight on my feet. I have no muscles.
I am not going to walk again.
And I’m ok with it.
Mom and Dad will take care of me. My sisters will help, too.
I don’t need to walk again. Or do anything again. I’ll be fine just like I am.
And now he’s in my room again.
He unfastens my right arm. Then my left.
He unstraps my left leg. Then my right.
He gently picks me up; he carries me out of the room. And then he does it again.
He lowers my legs to the floor. My feet barely touch the floor. He bear hugs me. He starts moving me toward the bandage change room. My legs swing lifelessly between his.
And then he starts talking to me.
“Boy, listen to me: you are going to walk again. You might as well get used to it. Come on, move those legs. There you go. Boy, come on, I’ll walk with you.”
I try to ignore him and ignore the pain he’s causing.
I stare down at the floor.
I’m not going to walk again.
* * *
Thirty years ago, Nurse Roy challenged me to get up, look forward and dream. It was his vision, encouragement, and action that empowered me to walk again. It took me several months, but I took my first step. It’s that step that set me on a renewed journey of possibility and purpose.
Can you believe that, until we were reunited years later, he had no idea the impact his life had made on mine?
My friend, do you ever wonder about the impact you’ve made on the lives of others?
Be like Roy.
Choose to be hero today by the path you choose; by the manner in which you live your life.
Today is your day. Live Inspired.