The hurt came slowly in the winter time
With a tightness in my legs and thighs
That I thought would disappear.
But then the pain began to multiply
Until one snowy day I fell
Upon the ground outside
And found I could not rise.

Confused and terrified by
What had just occurred,
My mind refused to comprehend
That I was less than what I’d been before. 
The strength on which I had relied
Abandoned me; and fear,
Infrequent in my younger years,
Now stalked the shadows of my mind
To trouble me in waking times.

Every move required now
A calculation made of what the pain
And hurt would be, weighed
Against the pleasure of the gain.

Dare I chance to go outside to see the stars,
Or struggle down the vile stairs
To greet some friend who came from far?

Yet I have learned some lessons too,
And understand that I am not alone.

I have seen the anguished pains,
Much greater than my own,
Of those with whom I would not change
My shrunken place:

Those who have been told
That they will die in months
With cancer gnawing at their bones,
Without a chance to see their children grow.

Or those who roam the streets in baffled states
Of mind to live alone, devoid of memory.

But I have also glimpsed the kindness
Strangers sometimes give unasked
To aid another soul in need,
Like opening a door, or giving up
Their place in line, or helping with
A wheelchair push on uphill climbs.

These tiny acts I would have overlooked
As unimportant in my early years;
But I know them now for what they are -
The gifts of human decency.

My eyes did not perceive these things before.
Perhaps there was no time amid the work
I had to do, that now for weakness’ sake
I must forego. But G‑d has given me another
Chance to leave my limitations in my wake
And find some other purpose in my fate.

My progress comes in little steps. 
I cannot make the jumps I used to try.
And though my legs have bound me to the ground
I find sometimes my spirit flies.

So I push against the vain complaints
Which all too easy come upon my lips
About my aches and what I lack;
And I give my thanks for blessings still retained,
And praise my state, despite the hurt
I must endure, for wisdom gained.

- Finding the Light of G‑d, pages 71-73