I’m getting older.
Truth of the matter is just typing that makes me cringe. Yet at least once a month, I tend to write something about the passing of time, children growing and how it’s hard to believe.
I’ve never been one to get ‘hung up’ on birthdays. A few friends/office mates and I were discussing this recently and how we ‘forget’ we’ve ‘aged up.’ I was 26 for three years once. I honestly had forgotten and was hysterically enough, corrected by my mother as I shared my age with someone. She was kind enough to correct me with a chuckle and remind me I was indeed 29.
The past few months, however, have brought the most blaring acknowledgement of this as my metabolism slows and injury/ailment seems to linger longer than I’m used to. The body and muscle memory don’t seem to hold as tight as they once did.
The good news, of course, is that I don’t have ‘quit’ in me, but I am revisiting how I choose to push my body, so that I can continue to be active as the children grow older.
I have a bucket list item to assistant coach Cross Country once my youngest becomes old enough and I’m not ready to give that up, even if it means swallowing a little pride.
It helps to be surrounded by over achievers/those overcoming set back or pushing through pain/illness.
Last Saturday marked the one-year anniversary since my PIC underwent a serious surgery which left him off work, in physical therapy and semi dependent for quite some time.
Respecting his privacy, I’ll omit the details of the ‘why’ or ‘where’; this piece is really more about the lessons.
Post-surgery, he and I spent a number of days and nights in a hospital room. I still recall writing a 209 Magazine piece from a chair in a corner of his room as he slept.
Bringing him home was one of the scariest times in my life (up there with being a new mom). How would I care for him, the kids and our life? What if I got it wrong and he didn’t heal as he should? How would I help him keep from losing his mind as the kids and I continued to live life and he was homebound for six weeks?
One year later, looking back, I can’t help but feel proud of both his progress, as well as his personal accomplishments. None of which has been easy, yet through it all he’s persevered as a role model to myself and the kids.
Through this, I’m reminded that we all live through much in private (as we should). No one truly understands or can relate to the hurdles we face, one at a time. And make no mistake ... no one has all the answers and no life is perfect. Many a time … we manage. If we’re lucky we find victory and if we’re blessed we find purpose. That’s what I choose to believe.
So, as I ice my aching limbs from pushing too hard too fast; as I look for alternative methods to maintain a body I work hard at preserving as time continues to pass, I think of my PIC.
He could have very easily come away from his surgery feeling a new path had been defined for him. He could have passed on Physical Therapy versus extending it. He could have laid in bed and been depressed by the path laid before him. Instead, we wept a few tears, prayed a few prayers and were grateful.
The morning of his surgery, we giggled as the nurses came in and prepped him. Perhaps it was nerves or maybe ignorance, either way we made the most of it.
That’s the lesson with ‘getting older.’ Not hanging on to what could have been; how we wish it was or feeling cheated. The trick is making the most of ‘it’: life, love and everything in between.
Cheers to the older and wiser … Amen.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.