My late husband lost his right leg in a traffic accident.
He was very brave, and coped with his prosthetic leg pretty well, managing to play squash, ride a bike, and even to run a half-marathon.
He didn't ever let his disability stop him doing anything he wanted to, although if washing the dishes was mentioned, he would moan and come over all faint.
Max was a great character, and his legacy to all who knew him was his inspirational ability to make light of suffering.
He was well-known also to have little regard for anyone else's suffering, and many was the out-patient appointment where I have cringed quietly whilst he gave some poor disabled soul a 'pep talk' about how they should get a bike, take up rugby or do some other impossible task.
We went on holiday to Morocco once, and in sweltering heat he biked us all over the Casbah, and all around the Bay of Tangier. I was dropping with exhaustion, and thought I would die of the heat. We returned to our hotel and as I collapsed in a chair, Max bounced off to the bar for lemonade, telling me to hurry up and get ready as he was planning a camel ride.
A gritty old Yorkshireman who was in our group sucked his pipe, gave me a sideways look, and said: "Eeh lass, if ah were thee, I'd saw t'booger's other leg off - then thee'd have a bit of peace!"
Max's favourite hobby was telling tall stories; if anyone asked him how he had lost his leg, he would tell them it had been bitten off by a crocodile ... or a shark ... or a lion, or that he had had it removed by a mad dentist. All children believed him, and even some adults!
I was thinking about him the other day, as I often do, and thought maybe he had the right idea. I was hobbling around the park and someone asked me what I'd done to my leg.
"Oh", I said " I was shot in the knee by a jealous toy-boy"
I'm not sure if they believed me, but just for a few seconds it was fun to watch the mental
R.I.P. Max ... we miss you xxxxx