To walk you have to take a single step
“Kayla, can you take a look at the stacks of books we are not going to take with us when we move and see if you want to keep any,” my mom called. We were moving in 7 weeks and the floor was littered with pile after pile. I went through a few and found one I used to love when I was little and sat down to read. It is called Polyanna, a story about a girl who learns to play the glad game, finding things to be grateful for, despite her legs becoming paralyzed. Little did I know I would be playing the same game later that night.
It was around 4:30pm that afternoon and there was a crack that echoed through the field. It was my leg, violently smashed by a heavy footed goal keeper. The middle of my leg wobbled and a scream escaped my throat. I knew it was broken. The next twenty-four hours were a blur. I was carted off in an ambulance to the emergency room and then had surgery the next day. It turns out I had my tibia and fibula, the two bones in the lower leg, completely snapped. I found myself playing the glad game the night before surgery with my mom finding all sorts of things to be grateful for.
In the hospital a lot was taken away from me. My spot on the New Jersey state team I had just made, the rest of my final season with my team, and the ability to do just about anything on my own, all gone. Then, my hopes for going to back to school were dashed a week later. I was crushed. I cried and kept asking why? Why me? Why now? Eventually, I realized it wasn't my place to ask those questions. I could only be thankful for what I did have. An ever present God, a strong left leg, a titanium rod in my tibia, amazing people checking in and caring for me, and the best family anyone could ask for made the list in that round of the glad game. I've learned, and still am learning, how to be grateful for everything because nothing belongs to us, not even our bodies. I know I will be back on my own two feet (and a soccer field) as soon as possible. I have found so much, much more than I thought possible, to be grateful for.