I Don't Miss My ArmsCommentary • Opinion • ISSUE 31•05 • Feb 12, 1997 By Tommy Flepper Tommy Flepper It's been almost two years since the auto accident, but you know what? I don't miss my arms at all! There are so many things that I never would have experienced had my upper appendages not been ripped from their sockets on that fateful day. For instance, I bet I never would have known what a great public speaker I was if I hadn't had my accident and joined up with the other kids at Diversabilities. Instead of touring local schools and hospitals talking to groups of disabled kids, I'd be doing all the same things other kids do, like hanging out with friends and having fun. I'd be wasting my time shooting hoops, dating girls and playing the oboe as the youngest member of a nationally recognized symphonic orchestra. You know, if I had remained third-chair oboist at St. Luke's, I never would have developed my singing voice. Of course, I only sing songs like "Everyone Is Special (Me and You, Two)" to hospitalized children, because if I tried to sing regular rock songs everyone would laugh at me. They'd say, "Hey, look at that singing armless guy!" There are plenty of other things I've learned since I "lost" my arms. (I didn't really lose them. They were right there in the ditch only three feet away!) Before the wreck, I never knew how to type with my face. Heck, I'd never even tried before! I know someday I'll meet a special girl, maybe at church, someone who loves me for who I am. Someone who finds human arms unattractive. Before my accident, I used to get in arguments with other guys my age that would end in fistfights. Now when someone insults me, I just cry and cry, and they always apologize right away. I hardly ever need to do that, though, because people are nicer to me than they ever were before. Growing up, I was always told that I was too cocky, but now everyone likes me. Ever since the accident, everyone's called me Tommy, a diminutive version of my name Thomas. It's great! I used to be just another face in the crowd. But now that I'm the teenager with no arms, people remember me! And pray for me! Nope, I don't miss my arms at all! Flepper resides in DeKalb, IL, where he is currently working on his autobiography, My Arms Are With The Lord Now.