A blog by Lori Lyons

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


In my former life as a a sports writer, I wrote a lot of stories about winning and losing.

But all of those stories were about winning and losing games.

This story is about a different kind of losing. And a different kind of winning.

Last night I got the opportunity to interview  the most amazing woman  --  perhaps the most amazing woman I've ever met.  And, believe me, she knows all about losing and winning.

She is a local educator, an elementary school principal and a leader in our community. And she is getting married in just a few weeks.

Like every other bride in the world she is fussing over the details -- the dress, the bridesmaids, the guests, the flowers.

Like every other bride she is worried about her hair and her makeup on her special day.

But unlike other brides, she wears her engagement ring on a fake finger. On a fake hand. And she will dance on prosthetic feet.

A little more than a year ago, she lost both of her feet and both of her hands to septic shock after a kidney stone.

A kidney stone.

She nearly died. Several times. But she fought. Hard. And won.

Now here she is living her life, ruling her school. And planning her wedding to the man of her dreams.

And I am amazed by the two of them. Her, for surviving. For winning. For coming out of the other side with her humor and positive attitude intact despite what she lost.

Him, for staying by her side.

And for more than that.

Every morning he must get her ready for her day. He dresses her. Probably bathes her. Carefully applies her makeup. Her eyeliner. Her lipstick. Her mascara. Blow dries, styles and irons her hair. Then he adorns his love with earrings and a necklace. She even lets him choose.

Then he carefully puts his ring on her silicone hand.

I love my husband. Adore him. I believe that he loves and adores me and would do just about anything for me. But I honestly can't imagine him putting on my makeup in the morning.  Certainly not straightening my hair with a white hot flat iron.

But I know he would.

I know that, as I get older, he will have to do more and more things for me. Some probably embarrassing things. Uncomfortable things.

We saw Pappy do them for Jane. Then we saw Jane learn how to do them again for herself after he was gone. It's what you do for those you love.

But still.

I can't imagine my life without my hands. Not being able to type like this, with the words pouring from my brain to my fingers.

Never playing the piano again.

Or digging in the dirt in my garden.

Never feeling my daughter's soft skin or running my fingers through her curls. Or feeling her head for a fever.

Never feeling my dogs' soft fur.

Never peeling another crab.

Being unable to scratch an itch.

Or to hold my husband's big warm hand.

But rather than dwell on all the things that she has lost, Mrs. Adams focuses on all the things she still has. A life. A love. And a second chance to live them.

And a wedding to plan.

And I am amazed.

**You can read the print version of the story here.

**And you can see the story The Today Show did on Tory and Merlyna here.


  1. What an AMAZING story!!!! you have touched my heart this morning ;)

  2. What a heartwarming story. Makes us top and think and appreciate life. We do take so much for granted until we don't have it or see a story like this.