I hope everyone in the whole world reads Arkansas Patti's blog, the New Sixty. She is a woman with an interesting life, an interesting take on life, and a wicked way with spinning out a story. I just finished reading "The Circle of Life." Please check it out now.
I was taken with this:
"Then the years pile on and I believe they do not pile on evenly. I think they pile up all on one side, causing our balance to become suspect. "
I would almost like to be able to explain my total lack of coordination as another one of the of aging, but, alas, no. I was simply born with a clumsy gene...a very dominant clumsy gene.
I actually have two vivid memories of my toddler years. Details were filled in by my parents: we were visiting maternal relatives in Toronto. I had to go to the bathroom so my mother took me upstairs. I was old enough to be toilet trained, but young enough and sleepy enough so that my mother felt the need to pick me up at the top of the stairs to carry me back down. This is the memory part--I get scooped up in my mother's arms and we step down once and then start to roll on down. That's it.
I also remember being in our house in Olyphant, Pennsylvania (so I was under three years old) and standing at the top of the cellar stairs hearing the washing machine running. I was calling my mother and stepping down the rather steep stairway. The filled in detail about that memory is that I landed on my face and broke my nose.
After I broke my nose a second time when I was ice skating at age six, my mother gave me lessons in how to fall without breaking the fall with my face or my hands. She was worried about facial disfigurement and broken arms.
And so is the story of my life. Spills without thrills. One spectacular tumble on the icy drive right in front of my high school school bus stop even got catalogued in the year book. Do people remember I might have been valedictorian of our class? No. Do they remember I landed on my butt and went sprawling across the ice in front of a bus, books and papers flying everywhere? Oh, yes, they remember that.
Bicycles, beds, skis, motorcycles, stairs, carpets, tables, chairs, school desks, doorways, level sidewalks, my own feet--I have fallen off, over, into or on all of those. I wasn't a great basketball player, but I kept the floor dusted and polished when I played. When I am not falling, I am bumping into.
Now, here's the thing about Arkansas Patti--she can take life's foibles and turn them into uproariously funny vignettes. I can't. My lack of grace is just truly sad moving into dangerous.
When Mike was in the hospital last week for his cardioversion, they let me wheel him out in a wheelchair. Wide hallways--so far, so good. Whee, ya wanna see how fast we can push this baby? Ha! Ha! Then the elevator where others are waiting. Uh oh. A door opens and I swing the chair around to pull it back into the down elevator...knocking into a young woman who miraculously managed to stay on her feet...miraculous because she had two prosthetic legs...and she was all apologetic to us...can one feel any smaller??