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Recognized Social Butterfly

REFLECTIONS ON MY MOST RECENT WALKS

Reflections on my Most Recent Walks

It is normal to feel sorry for people with disabilities. Last week I saw a young woman hobbling about on crutches. Half of her right leg was amputated. I was taken aback: What a pity! Yesterday, an elderly woman coming towards me was so stooped over that as she tried to move, her head almost touched the pavement. I was stunned: How disheartening!

Sometimes I feel sorry for myself because I have an array of physical problems: an aggressive and rare blood cancer, non-functioning adrenal glands, periodic angina, and pervasive arthritis. But all of these conditions are treatable.

Losing a limb and massive bone loss are not reversible. Seeing other people struggling with their deformities makes me grateful that I am still in relatively good health, thanks to precisely targeted medication, daily half-hour walks, and a positive attitude nourished by and sustained with the help of my upbeat wife who has banished negativity from our household.

While bleak used to be my default adjective, I now focus on how blessed I am. I will be 80 years old next November. I embrace that day. When I was a teenager, I was fascinated by the TV show Life Begins at 80.  Each week portrayed vibrant, articulate octogenarians with an abiding zest for life. If I could time travel, I’d love to be on that panel and tell my own story in which the cup is more than half full; it is brimming with life-enhancing moments and encounters.

 

schlomo
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But then, I wish I could convince my Teutonic, hard-working spouse that 85-yr-old women are usually in better shape than the same age men. She gets a little short with me when I can't keep up with house maintenance and lawn & garden chores as well as she does. And I don't think she believes me when I remind her that by mid-80's the majority of men are either totally disabled or gone entirely !

Recognized Social Butterfly

Yeah, I wouldn't worry too much about complete strangers. Take care of yourself. 

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