After I turned 40, I woke up with “new” aches and “new” stiffness. When I was about 10, Dad was in his 40s. I don’t remember him slowing down like I am. I remember him working around the house, cutting trees down on our land, and generally able to do what needed to be done. When I was young all the adults in my world were immortal. Uncle Don, Uncle Buddy, Uncle Lewis, and both Uncles Jim were like my Dad always there for any of us kids. In my memory, they all are handy, taller, and stronger. Mom and the Aunts—Phyllis, Lorraine, Anna, June, Mary Ellen, and Sandy were all caring and nurturing women who shepherded all of the children. All of these family members seemed as immobile from the earth as Mt. Rushmore, The Great Wall, and Stonehenge. I remember waking up for church one Sunday to see EMTs led by Gene Wagner, a family friend, down to our house and walking the hall to Mom and Dad’s room. Dad had a heart attack, and they took him to the hospital. It was the end of May or beginning of June, because I was in 8th grade, the first year of final exams. I remember it because it showed Dad’s mortality. He recovered and was home soon. As I was running today, I was thinking about this, I see the legacy that my parents and family have instilled in me. I see the lessons that they all taught me at an early age. Some lessons in my life I only recognize years after it was taught. Many people in my family have been affected by diabetes. Like my parents, Aunts and Uncles, I want to leave a legacy. They all taught me to leave a lasting impression. Even if that impression is on a 10 year old who won’t see it for years.
Mom, Dad, Aunts and Uncles are all older now, and the wisdom of age tells me to cherish the time I spend with any of them.
I was going to write about aches that you get when you are older and compare them to running aches and pain. My left ankle has been aching lately from a slight pull in my Achilles heel. That’s what the first sentence is supposed to hint at. Maybe I will get to that one day. . . .