Finding Happiness in Loss

About the Author: Makayla Bernadine is an amputee, incredible mother, and Synovial Sarcoma survivor. She has a growing online platform where she encourages others to be themselves and shares her journey. She shares more about her fearless attitude and inspiring story over on her Youtube Channel (Makayla Bernadine), and also on her Instagram (@makaylabernadine). 

Mom, amputee, cancer survivor, and divorcee all at 23. All I have to say is, you can plan your life down to every detail, but LIFE happens when you least expect it to. I do not know if I ever would have found out how much strength I have within me if it wasn’t for the brutal rainstorms and the lonely nights in my life, the unplanned. The biggest unplanned event, my right arm amputation. I mean I can crack an egg with ONLY my left hand now. I am pretty much an expert with life now, right? I had no idea about the greatness and strength I had in me before my amputation surgery. I also had no idea how much I was struggling before. In marriage, motherhood, mentally, physically, and as a woman in today's society.

My amputation surgery brought out so much happiness and light to me that I mistakenly thought I already had. My amputation opened my eyes up to what my life was actually like and not the idea of it I had in my head. The surgery was a wild experience because I was expecting to be kicked down after a big moment like that, but the weeks after my surgery is when I found my strength. I left toxic relationships, gained so much self-love and became the mom my boys wanted and needed. I finally became the woman I needed.

I have two boys, eight and two. Don’t worry, I trained the two-year-old for diaper changes before the surgery because let's be honest, motherhood does not stop for anything. I so wish I could hug them with both my arms wrapped around them still but more importantly I'm here for them, I don’t know if I would be if it wasn’t for my surgery. My eight-year-old keeps showing off my arm to his friends because it is the coolest thing ever to him. He also keeps telling me he wants his arm cut off to be cool. I can honestly say I never expected to hear those words to come out of a kid’s mouth. I am incredibly grateful for my amputation surgery. My family saw me fulfilling all my dreams, and now they are doing the same. Strangers will stop me at the grocery store and tell me they now have the confidence to live the life they have dreamed of. Confidence is like a ripple effect and I am here for it.

Although my surgery brought a lot of light into my life, I wish I would have loved and accepted myself before it happened. I wish I had the courage to leave those toxic relationships behind. I wish I would have stepped up and been the mom my boys needed at that time. I wish I would have stepped up and been the woman I needed at that time. I wish I didn’t wait till the surgery to change my lifestyle. Don’t wait. Love yourself the way you are. Accept every single thing about you honey. Forgive yourself of the things you cannot change. Live out your lovely lives and be nice to yourself. There are going to be a lot of people in your life saying you can't do things, do not let that person be you. 

That pivotal moment in my life has brought so many beautiful people and amazing experiences into my life I wouldn’t trade any of it for a right arm. Since my amputation surgery I have NEVER been more confident, happy, and excited about life! I am absolutely ready to experience life like I never have before.