I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for — but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among men, most richly blessed!
— Roy Campanella
Roy Campanella “Campy” was a Baseball Hall of Fame catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Campy played in every All-Star game from 1949-1956, winning three most valuable awards. The most productive years and record-setting seasons of his career lay ahead. The sky was the limit – at least this is what was expected.
At the pinnacle of his career, Campy’s life changed instantly on Jan. 28, 1958. While driving home on an icy evening, he lost control of his vehicle and skidded into a telephone pole and overturned, breaking his neck. The accident left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. In a moment, his life changed forever. Like for some service members who’ve endured such a similar fate on the battlefield, Campy went from the pinnacle of health to barely being alive in an instant.
Campy entered the Institute for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, where he discovered a bronze plaque on the wall. He rolled by it several times before finally reading the inscription. He describes the experience:
“I never made the time to pull over to the side and read the words on that plaque. It said it was written by an unknown Confederate soldier. Then one afternoon, I did. I read it, and then I read it again. When I finished it the second time I was near to bursting-not in despair, but with an inner glow that had me straining to grip the arms of my wheelchair. I’d like to share it with you.”