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knee 1

Today Facebook reminded me that I posted this exactly two years ago. I am very blessed in that, thanks to the advice of some of the best minds in the world in healing, I had an amazing experience that has produced a long term recovery unlike most experience. It was a lot of work and dedication, and today I have more flexibility and strength in the leg than I had in the prior 15 years. Through my youtube video I have been able to help lots of other people have a better recovery as well. Anyway, this article isn’t about my recovery, it’s about serving. I enjoyed reading it again myself and so I decided to share it again for some of my readers who may not have been with me the first time around.

He stared up at me with his long gleaming smile and without actually saying a word let me know that I had much to learn from him…

Yes, “Frankenknee” has been busy educating me this past week. For those of you who are not familiar with the legendary “Frankenknee” (well, at least legendary in my mind), I first encountered this wise and scary creature Tuesday January 6th at approximately one o’clock in the afternoon. It was at this time that Jennifer, my nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Towson Maryland, removed my surgical bandages for the first time to unveil my brand new left knee. A knee that I now affectionately refer to as “Frankenknee.” Ten inches of gaping wound going directly down the center of my leg from the quad  over the knee to the calf held together by a row of staples that stick up and smile like so many metal teeth….this is Frankenknee.

knee picture 2

Like all pain in life there is an associated gain. Often we don’t know the gain at the time, so in this case I consider myself very fortunate to be conscious of the schooling that Frankenknee is providing. Patience, humility, diligence, gentleness, and responsiveness are all basic lessons that Frankenknee drills me with in our daily uninterrupted time together. These I will not further espouse upon today, for they are easily understood from afar. It is the lesson of service that has my full attention.

I am a person who gets great joy from serving others. I learned many years ago that my personal love language is acts of service and that I love the feeling I experience when I do something for someone else and they express what it means for them. It’s even to the point of self-serving. I’m not afraid to admit that. That’s the cool thing about giving and serving, if you do it  because it makes you feel good….well…knock yourself out and feel as good as you can!!! The people who are receiving the benefits will be very happy that you are feeling good too!

Anyway, the point here, is that this week, I have been unable to serve anyone. I have been reliant on the service of others. I have learned that while I like to feel the joy of serving others, I have, in my life, been disallowing others to have that experience when it comes to me. I have not allowed others to reciprocate much. I have not allowed others to have an opportunity to do a kindness for me. I’m not saying I never have, just not much…and actually, thanks to the wisdom of Frankenknee, I am clear that it hasn’t been enough.

My good friend Jason Merson yesterday, while he was taking me to and from my physical therapy, shared a story of a time in his younger years when his family was going through a rough patch and a friend offered some help. He initially couldn’t accept the help, and his friend said to him “Why would you rob me of the joy of helping you?” Thank you Jason for paying that forward. We should all be helping each other in all the ways we can. But that means we have to be able to receive as well as give. I know there are plenty of takers in the world. People who don’t give much or at all and only focus on what they can get. I also know that my readers are not in this category, which is why this lesson is good for you too. You are giving giving giving. It’s okay to let someone give to you. Don’t be too proud.

I want to especially acknowledge my wife Melanie who has been an absolute serving rock-star this week. She already has a full plate in life. A busy career where she is incredibly diligent as well as a full life with running a household, family and serving many friendships, among many other things she does. She has taken incredible care of me and at the same time continued to do everything else she does, and at the same time has been providing significant help in other areas of family that are in critical need right now. She has been amazing.

I struggled with letting her do what needed to be done…but then Frankenknee reminded me, let others also experience the joy of serving. This is the lesson I want to pass on to you. Well that’s all for now. Frankenkee is telling me its time to lay down…and when Frankenknee speaks…I listen:-)

If you or someone you know is going through a surgery and you would like information and tips for recovery and rehab email me at tburrier@gmail.com and I will share what I did.

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