I have been very lucky throughout my life. I've face no serious injuries nor had invasive surgeries to mar this awesome physique. I have always been able to fend for myself be it a physical or mental challenge. I've always been quite proud of that fact.
In my line of work I see a multitude of people coming and going. Most of them are fine on the surface. They seem to be able to have unfettered locomotion. I've always found it curious when someone needs me to carry something out to their car, especially when I'm several years their senior. I'm not one to ask for help in something like that. Why? Because I've always been fortunate to have my health.
Well, recently that feeling of invincibility has been stripped from my facade. My minor outpatient surgery of recent weeks has left me vulnerable to the slings and arrows of old age. Yes, I'm still a strapping and vibrant (cough, cough) young man approaching sixty, but I am not a person unable to lift anything over twenty pounds. It's a rude awakening when back in the day my normal workout was routinely tossing ten, 80 pound bags of concrete mix into someone's pickup truck, then running back to the other end of the store and loading fifty wet bags of mulch into someone else's trailer. Back in those days, most of the mulch bags were 3 cubic foot, not the twos you routinely see for sale now. It was a workout that rivaled any trip to the gym.
Now, My Beloved isn't fond of me picking up a loaf of bread unless I've had four slices of toast out of it. She worries, and with good reason. After twenty-five years she knows me. She knows I don't like restrictions. She knows I think I'm invulnerable to ravages of age, that I'll not face the foibles others face. It is humbling to have to walk past something on the ground and ask another person to pick it up. It's frustrating to ask someone in the store to climb up the ladder and get the heaviest damn thing up there and bring it down, because even though I'm the oldest person in the store, with few exceptions, they call me for that type of thing. 'Cause 'I'm the man!
Well, this 'man' has learned a humbling lesson. I have been around a few who needed my care to nurse them through their ailments and frailties, but I have never walked in their shoes. In the beginning, this rambling blog was dedicated to my life and observations, what I learn and feel as I walk through the decades of my life. Often I pass along thoughts on the world, but rarely do I pass along hard lessons learned. Consider this a hard lesson learned when it comes to the frailty of the body as time passes.
I have now walked a quarter mile in their shoes, and I have not enjoyed it one bit. This shall pass in a few weeks, but the lesson has been learned.