I have always prided myself on being independent. I come from a long line of men who would rather walk five miles in snow and ice than accept a ride from a well-meaning motorist. Lately, Iíve been thinking perhaps I carry this tradition a little too far. During my one-legged period recently, I tended to refuse help a little too quickly, Iím thinking. Perhaps my male ancestors would have forgiven me for accepting help opening doors with my walker instead of banging through them and being hit from all sides by swinging panels. Next time Iím incapacitated, I think Iím going to accept a little more help!
For now, however, Iíve returned to my unassisted living quarters, walking with a cane. I graduated from knee surgery with the surgeons (carpenters) fawning over the long scar like new parents over their first born, and complimenting me on my work on a successful rehab, which was more old man stubbornness mixed with some dedicated therapists.
I had a dilemma in grocery shopping recently. My late wife and I split an apple and orange as a before-breakfast snack, each eating half. I carried on that tradition by eating an apple one day followed by an orange the next. Now, however, I find that finding apples and especially oranges small enough to fit that routine is difficult. Iíve been buying small oranges, which recently have not been very good. This, keeping in mind that my idea of a perfect orange is one that is easy to peel and not too juicy, and I donít like sticky. Finally, a friend suggested eating half an orange and saving the other half. This led me to buying some very nice large ones. I think if I do the same with apples, Iíll be all set. My apple buying was based on size, not taste, which, Iím finding, isnít a very smart method of buying food.
A guy with whom I do business recently lost his father after a long battle with Alzheimerís disease. When I talk to him, I often ask about his mother, who has moved to be closer to him. Last time he told me, despite her age, she drove a long way to see her friends and she felt it was worth it. This reinforces my feeling that after a while we have to get out and talk to people, especially those who are in the same situation as us. Donít be a hermit.
I missed trick or treating last Thursday. I felt kind of bad about it, but I didnít want to risk hurrying to the door and falling. Not falling is important in my recovery. Actually, at my age, itís important to being independent. Well, Iíll do it next year.
Itís November, and in this climate, you know what that means. Soon the white stuff from the sky will inherit the earth. I think shoveling is out for me this year, and Iím going to be a little more careful than I usually am. Iím going to print the question: ďIs where youíre going worth falling for?Ē and post it by my outside doors. Halloween is over, Veteransí Day is next. Stay safe.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.