Breakfast at The Pancake House turned out to be a special gift and it wasn’t the pancakes. A young, smiling waitress escorted us to a table near where three older men were seated. Obviously retired, the men were discussing everything from their football picks of the week to the state of the union. The waitress was attentive, pleasant and quickly brought us freshly brewed coffee and took our order. As we sat enjoying the coffee we couldn’t help but overhear as the three men talked with the waitress about her life. It was obvious that they were regulars and that she had often waited on them.
When I was nine months old I was diagnosed with elongated tendons in my legs causing me to walk on the inside of my feet. I was placed in leg braces which I wore 24/7 for the next three years of my life. Which explains my fascination with shoes and my need to buy them. This was 1956-1959-stainless steel was not like it is today. If you are old enough to remember what the chrome on a 1956 Chevy or Ford weighed and felt like, you can imagine how heavy these braces were. Each leg brace was connected by a bar which ran from one ankle to the other, thus preventing me from walking on my own.
While walking the dogs I ran into a neighbor who had recently brought her mother to live with her. I asked her how she was doing. Between homeschooling her ten year old and caring for her mom who was beginning to physically decline; a mixture of emotions, negative thoughts, mental and physical exhaustion came forth like hot, red and black lava pouring onto the sidewalk and neighborhood.
In those few moments I found myself transported back 25 years when I too found myself in a similar position in my life. This position even has a name.
It’s been two weeks since Thad’s shoulder surgery and I am beginning wear down. How am I going to maintain stamina, not to mention, the right attitude? Unless he has some miraculous healing there will be four more weeks of bathing the two of us, dressing the two of us, and feeding the two of us. If it wasn’t for the humor that peppers our days –