Age may be just a number, but it brings friends with it…


Old age. It got here faster than I thought it would.

The other day, hubby attempted to finally take care of the yard work that’s been waiting since the previous Fall. He ended up hurting his back, and he has been sidelined ever since. Last night, as he eased his body on to the heat pad on his side of the bed, he looked over at me. I must have been a sight, my nose red and my eyes puffy from my allergies.

“Do you think we’ll be whining about our backs and waists in ten years?”

I made an even scarier face. “We’re whining right now, aren’t we?”

“For better or worse, in sickness and in health…” Oh, how those vows we made come back to us at the most unexpected moments.

We went camping one long weekend last May. On our first day there, we went hiking to see the Susquehanna River. At one point, I got all excited to take a picture of an angler knee-deep in a pool so still it looked like a mirror. I ended up spraining my ankle.

[It was the same one I hurt a few years earlier–that time I was walking and sending text messages at the same time so I didn’t see the hole that appeared out of nowhere and grabbed hold of my foot.]

So I suffered through the weekend and weeks of therapy after. And when it’s cold, or at the end of a long day, my ankle is a mess and so am I.

And just so you know, I don’t have cankles. My other ankle just sympathizes with the hurting one and swells to help reduce the other one’s insecurities.

I also share a talent with Detective Riggs (Lethal Weapon). I have accidentally dislocated my shoulder several times, and was able to pop them back in each time. As I get older, however, it hurts more, and now I’m more careful. But when the cold wind blows, I feel a pain that won’t go away. And yes, I use this as an excuse to explain my bad posture. Might as well benefit from it too.

I also belong to a secret society of women who have been reduced to documenting our various physical ills just so we can remember them. Our exchanges are often funny, at times worrying. Once, one of our friends sent out an email from her doctor’s office, asking for prayers. We all breathed a collective sigh of relief when we found out she was going to be fine. Still, yearly mammograms and such are a permanent fixture in our conversations. I used to be on the outside looking in, that is, until my last birthday. Now I’m steeling myself for my first encounter with a mammography machine.

But it’s not just the physical aspect of things.

After two cesarean sections, numerous medical procedures and a preference for the unhealthy offerings on the menu, my cognitive functions haven’t been very cooperative. My short term memory is also shot.

For example, when I’m trying to remember some thoughts for a post, I need to number them and relate each thought to a word that’s easy to remember. It’s been a good strategy, for the most part. I forget dates and other details easily and get my sons’ names mixed up. So far, I do remember their faces. So we’re good.

Naps, once considered a child’s privilege, have become a very important part of my day–for the sake of those around me. Without my daily afternoon nap I would either end up biting your head off, smothering you with sarcasm, or ignore you even if you laugh like a goat.

So yea, I hate to admit it, but I sleep like a baby from 2:00 to 3:00 pm–or longer if I can! I justify it this way: because I stay up past midnight doing homework, studying, writing and catching up with my family back home, I deserve a bit of a shuteye when the sun is at her friendliest.

It’s been a long whining session. {Thanks for hanging in there.} And yet, even with all these–and other struggles I’d rather keep private, I find I’ve really got no cause for complaint. Not in the face of what others, including some of my friends, are facing.

I was reading the news about Japan this morning. My heart broke as I thought of all those children crying for their parents, all those mothers whose arms are now empty, all those fathers who sleep at night without the comfort of knowing their family was safe together under one roof. I thought of the long road to healing, and of the added pain each day would continue to reveal. And I prayed and petitioned the God I know is listening to incline His ear toward the people of Japan.

Hubby was at the library earlier today. He borrowed David Foster’s latest offering for me. One of the songs on it is an old favorite: Wildflower. After hearing Blake Shelton’s version, I went on youtube to try to find the original one.

I found this and allowed myself a bit of nostalgia. You might feel like doing so as well.

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