I had breakfast with a dear friend on Saturday whom I met in 7th grade Civics. Assigned alphabetic seating on the first day of class, (I was an S, she was a T) ensured our meeting but junior and senior high school dramas kept us inseparable. We try and get together a couple of times a year now to catch up on family and friends.
During this visit she updated me about her mom, a dynamo of a woman at age 82. Ms. T lives by her self at the lake with her dogs and works for the Meals on Wheels program delivering lunch to several people in the area. After lunch she heads to the gym EVERY day, sometimes she is able to go further than her own daughter on the treadmill.
A while back, Ms T was walking into the swinging doors of the Meals on Wheels kitchen when someone burst through the doors on the other side and sent all 5 ft, 90 pounds of her flying backwards. A fractured pelvis resulted. For many 80 year olds this accident would result in a lengthy hospital stay with almost certain mobility and functionality decreases for the remaining years of their life. Not for Ms. T. She came home with a walker but was back to her normal high energized self in just a few short months.
On this particular weekend, Ms. T was putting down mulch in her garden and driving to Kansas City for mother’s day activities.
I am twenty-eight years younger than this women and I can not accomplish half the activities that she does every day. I do understand that some people are genetically privileged and many others work hard to maintain their health as they age. Is there any hope for those of us that did not win the genetic lottery or take such good care of our health over the years?
My older sister with whom I share a genetic pool is someone I can see being like Ms. T when she hits her eighties. Besides working full time and entertaining grandchildren frequently, her idea of a good day is clearing brush and chopping firewood on her wooded home site. Her energy level is amazing.
As the countdown nears to surgery #2, one of my biggest fears is that these four operations I am undertaking will somehow result in me being even more immobilized than I am now. With one surgery behind me, I now rely on a cane to walk which I did not use before the surgery. It is almost impossible for me to visualize a time when I will be able to walk without a limp, pain free.
However, I want to be like Ms. T, living a full active life well into my later years so I will continue on with these surgeries because they provide some hope for that life. My new favorite word is perseverance.
Perseverance – a steady course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
I also need to continue hearing stories of people who with their actions and attitude motivate and inspire. You’re my hero Ms. T!!!