I watched you walk today. So effortlessly your feet seem to move with every step. Your legs so perfectly shaped moving as though they were weightless. I watched as your knees bent slightly as each foot rose, just above the floor, then straightened again. Your legs defining the lean healthy strong muscles of your calves. So powerful as they supported the weight of your body. I followed with my eyes as you moved past me, almost as though you floated in the air.
Closing my eyes I tried to envision how it felt to stand. To have the use of my own limbs back again. Opening my eyes I looked down at my now almost useless limbs. My legs motionless, locked in a semi-bent position. I glanced at my feet slightly turned inward, motionless too, resting on the foot rest of my wheelchair. I imagined myself moving them. Freely moving them, standing on them. It did not matter how hard I tried they hung lifeless, attached to me.
I watched as you bent down. Your knees skimming the floor slightly as you folded yourself almost in half. Just as effortlessly you were standing erect in front of me again. What did it feel like I wondered, to have your body fold and unfold. To engage in twisting and turning with out someone maneuvering you from position to position. What did it feel like to lift your feet up and down as you moved form place to place.
What did it feel like to stand, to walk to just move your leg slightly without assistance.
I watched as you brushed a strand of hair from your face. I followed the motion of your arm that led up to your perfect hand. Your arm exposing the slight curves of muscle moved as though it took no thought to perform this function. I was in awe as you scratched your nose freely with slender straight fingers that moved with ease.
I lowered my head in an effort to help my hand reach my chin, to scratch it. I was unable. I had accepted the fact long ago that my nose was out of reach, for my weakening arm . Now I would have to accept my chin was also no longer in range for my hand. I marveled at the swing of each of your arms, as you raised them to reach and grasp at things. I shut my eyes and tried to remember the last time I successfully reached for something, anything. My mind was blank.
You smiled at me and slowly bent down to embrace me. I felt my self bask in the warmth of your beautiful useful arms. I wept silently inside. Not because I could no longer scratch my nose or even stand. But because I wanted to wrap my arms around you and hug you back in return.