When “crummy things happen”: A Thanksgiving story

What exactly does Cheryl Douglass have that has enabled her to bounce back after such a blow? Two years ago, at age 62, she contracted a sudden, severe bacterial infection which almost killed her:

Cheryl lived. But her body, in a last-ditch effort to save her vital organs, had abandoned her extremities. Her hands and feet turned purple. They would have to come off.

When she woke from a drug-induced haze two months later, she had no limbs.

“I just thought, okay, this is not what I had in mind,” Cheryl recalls. “I guess this is going to be my next profession.”

And now she’s cooking Thanksgiving dinner. And working on a cookbook for chefs with prosthetic hands. And walking and re-learning tennis and thinking about taking up running. Says Cheryl, “Crummy things happen and hardships occur and you can’t make them go away, so you just have to make the best of it.” Maybe the key is her ability to look reality in the face and accept it.

Read the rest and watch the video. I think you’ll be impressed, and perhaps a little chastened, as I was. I guess I’ll have to stop complaining about my feet hurting after a long day in the kitchen. Instead I should be grateful that I have feet, and hands. There’s so much to be thankful for. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Cross-posted in the Green Room.