How in the hell can I ever bounce back when I have dribbled around the corner and down a dark hall? It seems the “I can do anything all by myself crowd” of “attitude is everything,” have always had everything including money, health and energy. It’s pretty easy to put on a happy face when the rest of your life doesn’t hurt.
My Dad used to say that “When you have your health, you have everything.” I got so tired of hearing it. He was a semi-pro baseball player and a college gymnast. He taught school in the winter and farmed, plowing with mules, in the summer. When he was left with heart disease, severely weakened after a bout with rheumatic fever, he said he felt “taken out of life.”
I would give him pep talks on doing the best he could and keeping a positive attitude. I can’t believe he didn’t slap me, but then he was too weak to slap me.
My Aunt Alma told me growing old gracefully would be the hardest thing I would ever do. Since I wasn’t young gracefully, I’m finding it nearly impossible to advance with any poise.
My biggest fear is that my health won’t improve. Usually age doesn’t bring vigor. This may be the best I’ll ever be.
When I was in India, an astrologer told me I would live to be 96, but I would linger. Some days I think this is the beginning of the lingering. What length of time does “linger” connote, one year, six, twenty? The holy man also told me I would never have to worry about money. “Money will follow you, “he said. I keep looking back for it, but so far no shadow.
On the hospital equipment we see the blip of the lifeline. It gets scary if the lines are too extreme. We all know what a flat line means. So perhaps bouncing back means a low loft, not a total recovery. Maybe seeing the highs and lows of the arc of the ball, even if slight, is the best there is. Maybe bouncing back is a nice steady small arc every day, and maybe that’s what it should be.