To my dearest friend, closest confidant and yet still my most challenging obstacle, my Bubba Stump, you will be 12 soon! A decade plus 2 years old! We’ve been through a lot over those 12 years and I’d like to apologize. I could have done better by you and I’m striving to right that wrong.
I’ve spent so much of the last 12 years trying to cope with the loss of my leg. I’m still coping with it, everyday… but I think I’ve sold you and myself short of an experience that we deserved the chance to have: life as an amputee the way it should be – positive and happy. I’ve spent much of these 12 years demonizing you. Making justifications in my head as to why you are the reason my life is where it is. Yes, you contributed but for the good and positive. Any negative that I’ve pulled from choosing to have my leg amputated and choosing to create you in my life is not a fault of yours. Any ill feelings toward you is shaped off of others opinions of you and I. Not you. Please believe me, it’s not you.
For the first time on paper and out loud for others to read, I want you to know 3 truths about how I feel about you and what you mean to me. Yes, I know you know all this already because I talk to you about it (and yes readers, I talk to Bubba) but nonetheless, others need to hear it.
Until we’re cold in the ground, I will always protect and stand up for you. No one will ever tell you and me how we should look, what we should do with our bodies or how we should go about changing. I quit wearing my prosthetic when I was 20 because it was painful on me and mainly on you. Your poor little face was always squished, you’d get horrible sweat welts and you were so unhappy… you weren’t afraid to let me know you hurt either. Phantom pains were no joke in the beginning and they still aren’t. The thought of my poor little Bubba being suffocated made me cry once a day. The prosthetic gave me some freedom but getting rid of it completely and telling the world that they would have to accept you in full force with no cover was the most freeing thing I’ve ever done. I will never stop wearing cutoff clothes that show you off. I will never stop showing you off and making sure you are accepted. I will never stop standing up for others like us who have felt the discrimination and pain we have. Like I said, until my pulse stops. I promise you this.
You are the reason I am fierce. Without you, I wouldn’t have the attitude, determination, honesty or heart that I have today. Before you, I was headed down a bad road straight to fucktown. You and our whole experience forced my hand into adulthood and I truly believe I’m a better human being for it. You’ve made me humble, pragmatic, more adventurous and make me want to be more giving to others. Adversity and change can bring out the best and worst in people and I truly believe in my heart of hearts that the reason why I knew amputation was best was because I knew although a hard road was ahead, the end destination point would be worth it.
You test my physical, mental, emotional abilities everyday and I can’t help but appreciate that. On some days, it can be too hard but I feel that my mental capacity, emotional depth and physical limits have all grown and matured with you over the last 12 years. Learning to adapt in multiple ways makes me feel so much pride, strength and accomplishment because you constantly test me and with those tests we surprise all our spectators by showing them that we can do all kinds of crazy shit! Rock climbing, fetish parties, movie nights, road trips, bungee jumping…. we’ve done all that together and we’re still kicking and surprising the fuck out of everyone. I can’t thank you enough for that.
I’ve had most of my greatest memories with you and it’s all because of your presence in my life that those moments were so great. We know our relationship is a struggle but know that you are truely the biggest part of my life and no matter where I am in it, I will always love you Bubba.