I have no idea how any of this happened. Just a few months ago I was boasting to a friend about how healthy I was. Oh sure, I was diagnosed with cancer 20 years ago, but that was 20 years ago and, as far as I know, I’m cancer free today. And, yes, I need to have a shoulder replaced, and, of course, I have aches, pains and stiffness. I’m not denying the effects of gravity on a human body over time, but overall I was good with no big issues and no big complaints about my body vehicle.
Then, the wheels started falling off my chassis. I had to have minor surgery on a foot. Before that completely healed I had my gallbladder removed, and being a bit of a problem child, there were of course complications with that surgery which resulted in a longer recovery. I was almost back to good a few weeks ago. No, I was actually feeling better than I had in a long time when my right knee went wonky. It did so because things were out of place causing pressure on the meniscus. Everything was put back into order and I was again feeling frisky and free. That lasted about 10 hours before I threw the other knee out. At some point during the knee issues a tooth started causing me fits. Turns out, that tooth is split in two and is coming out tomorrow. Eventually, in a few months when the mouth tissues and bones heal, it will need an implant. So my sorry saga is not over yet.
And it does feel like a sorry saga sometimes, but I am working hard to not believe it is so. I refuse to see this as my body falling apart, or my “getting to that age” – even though I am at that age. I know this because my friends and I now share notes on all kinds of topics that I remember my parents talking about with their friends. I tried to ignore those conversations about new aches and pains then and I am trying to ignore them now. I just refuse to believe that this housing for my eccentric soul is required to rust and decay. My body has been a dependable vehicle for a long time so it’s going to show some wear and tear. I’ve used it well and abused it often, and honestly, until the last decade or so, I didn’t really keep up on regular maintenance that well. And yet this ride has continued to serve me admirably.
So I want to believe it will continue to do so for however long I get to be in it. But it is obviously demanding some attention and work these days- a touch up here and there, some new parts, a brush and buff – all understandable. Even though we’re not suppose to turn these bodies back in at the end of our ride like we do with rental cars – no dents or dings and with a full tank of gas – we are charged with caring for them and keeping them in the best working order we can. Yes, we’re supposed to use them up, enjoy the ride and turn them in well used, but also hopefully indicating they were cared for and appreciated.
It would be easy to blame age and the thought that all of this is a sign of my wearing out and the slippery slope of things going wrong, falling off, being removed and conversations filled with names of new medications and updates on the “Pain of the Week”. It would be easy to see this as my life winding down and the deterioration of a finite soul vehicle. And maybe it is.
But maybe it isn’t. Maybe instead of my body telling me it’s starting to wear out it is instead telling me it needs some TLC to get spiffed up and road worthy for all the new and fun adventures ahead. Maybe this isn’t the way my story ends – with hardship and hurt – but rather this is how the next chapters of my story begin. Maybe my body isn’t falling apart, but is instead asking for my help to get it where it needs to be to enjoy the best yet to come.
Even if that’s not true, believing it is sure is a lot more fun than not!