Monday, August 18, 2008
Overcoming Handicaps Part 1.
My friend Jeff posted in his blog yesterday about going to the Indiana State Fair. He talked about a display of corn related accidents. I commented there about my Grandpa and I am going to expound on that here. My Grandpa only had one arm and half of the other one. He had been harvesting wheat and with the combine running he was checking the belt drive. He noticed a stalk there and with out thinking he stuck his hand in to grab it. Of course it grabbed him. He was all alone in the field, no one else was near. At that time Grandma was coming out of the house, about a mile away, to go to town. She swore she heard Grandpa call. He swore he never opened his mouth. She went to check on him and found him. She rushed into town to get the doctor. He was in a restaurant getting ready to eat. He immediately went out to the field. They had to get someone out with a torch to cut Grandpa out. His arm was too badly mangled to be saved and they amputated it above the elbow. He was fitted with a hook, the kind that if he turned it right it would open up and he could grab things.
Even though he had lost his arm he did not let it stop him. He continued to farm. He had a knob installed on the steering wheels of his car and truck. He lost his right arm so he had to learn how to do everything left-handed. He never asked anyone to feel sorry for him. He said anyone who did what he did was stupid. He knew better, but he did it. No blaming the combine manufacturer, or the doctor for not saving his arm, or anyone else. He did it and he lived with the consequences of his actions.
When my brother and me asked Grandpa what happened to his arm he told us he broke it off. It was easier than going into detail. That worked until I was 4 and fell off a sliding board, breaking my arm. When I came home the first thing my brother Steve said "He still got his arm." Grandpa made sure after that he told the full story.
Tomorrow I am going to talk about three other people I have known, two who overcame their handicaps and one who used his to get people to feel sorry for him.