top of page

Am I avoiding you?

Am I doing okay?

Has the reality of losing an appendage settled in, and am I finding myself in that expected morass of depression and loss that we all might fear should we end up in this predicament?

It’s the unspoken question in everyone’s eyes when I cross paths with them in the community, or when someone drops by the office. I see it, no matter how well you try to hide it. And I’ll admit, there are days my denials are just a bit too strident, even for me.

I don’t make a big issue of not getting to attend last Friday night’s Belton-Ruskin playoff game, a place nothing could’ve kept me from at any other time. At least verbally. In my head, the regret was there, however. It hurt.

What saved me once again, were friends. Longtime friends that came to share a couple boxes of pizza and Game 1 of the World Series on television. It’s been that way throughout the entire process of having my right foot amputated. As soon as I start to feel like I might really feel as sorry for myself as others seem to feel they would if they were me, those same people refuse to let it happen. As a result, of course it stings that there are things I’m not able to do right now. And there are things, I realize, that I’ll never again be able to do.

A traumatic injury or sudden disability like this presents certain realities that can appear tragic. Anyone that has experienced this will agree to that, and as all of us age, it’s guaranteed we’ll all experience creeping limitations.

The most important skill I’ve learned over the six weeks I’ve been “a foot short” has been to rely upon and appreciate family and friends. I can honestly say, as I approach time to be fitted with a prosthetic lower leg, go through physical training and therapy designed to help me assume my normal upright position once more, that I still only see myself facing a temporary challenge.

Yes, I know there’s a degree of denial associated with that view. But it is true that I’ll soon be moving out of the wheelchair and into a more standard posture, at least a little at a time.

And even if I wasn’t, the fact remains that the human body – and the human psyche – has a remarkable ability to adjust to new realities. If we’ll let it.

So no, the fact that I’ve gone a few weeks since writing about my recovery isn’t a sign that I’m avoiding the topic at all. It’s a sign that I’ve found a certain comfort with some of the most challenging aspects of this situation.

What I’ll never be completely comfortable with is my current inability to be everywhere I want to be, covering the events I want to cover and seeing all the people I want to see. But those limitations, for the most part, I really do believe are temporary.

• • •

While I wasn’t at last week’s Belton City Council meeting, of course I didn’t miss it, because it’s available to stream on the city’s website. I watched it while doing other things, because frankly, the agenda wasn’t particularly compelling.

But hidden far down in the post-meeting work session was a discussion on capital improvement projects. Public Works Director Greg Rokos explained how to get an up-to-date status on all major infrastructure projects on the city’s website.

And as part of that demonstration, we found out that the Missouri Department of Transportation had decided to delay the widening of Interstate 49 through Belton a full two years, to 2027. The decision was related to inflation, Rokos said. He encouraged disappointed councilmembers to remember we are still getting our project done, unlike some other metro communities.

Let's hope.


bottom of page