Life Is A Gift

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I was content to stay in bed this morning. I didn’t want to get up. It was warm beneath the covers. Thoughts about my morning blog were rolling around in my head. Would I have time to write it was one of the questions on my mind? Today is another workday. Maybe I should have taken the day off work? Its not like I don’t have accrued annual leave that I could have used.

 

I remembered turning off the alarm. I wondered what time it was, but I was content to wonder. My iPhone was under my pillow, but I didn’t retrieve it to look at the time. I also was so comfortable with my head against the pillow that I didn’t want to move or lift my head up to look at the display on the clock on the General’s side of the bed. I was content simply giving thought to many things. I wondered if I was just being lazy?

 

Do you ever have a morning like that? Somewhere in the house one of the grandfather clocks began to chime. Like it or not, I was soon going to know the time because the Westminster chimes were in the forth interval. That meant it was on the hour and the clock would soon strike the time. Was I prepared to count the number? I wanted to pull the covers over my head and drown out the sound, but that too meant I’d have to alter my position in bed and I didn’t want to move.

 

The clock struck once, twice, three times, four times, five times and then there was only silence. Could that be correct? Was it really only five o’clock in the morning? Somehow I feared it would be much later. Maybe the morning was still salvageable? If I wrote quickly, I still had time for the blog, my shower and off to work I’d go in order to arrive on time.

 

Before I got out of bed, I had the thought that yesterday had been a gift. Isn’t that true of each day? Despite the accuracy of what I’m writing, most often I don’t live with the awareness that the time I’ve been given is a gift. That thought was interrupted by pain in my left foot and leg. My left hand was also hurting.

 

Clumsily, I had fallen down the steps in the early morning hours earlier this week going out to the hot tub. It was pitch black outside. Anyone could have fallen. I didn’t completely fall. Actually, that’s not true. I did completely fall, but I caught myself on the railing on the left side. It kept my head above the concrete, but I fell down the steps.

 

Disturbingly, the weight of my fall damaged the security of the railing. Of course, I didn’t know that until the light of day. The railing now has a wobble to it. That is completely unacceptable. It has to get repaired. Failure to paint a house is beginning to destroy a city. The same could be said about a loose rail next to the steps.

 

I then thought of something I’d heard in a conference over a year ago. It was in response to a question being asked, but the physician speaking said there is now a requirement that physicians ask their patients two questions. The two questions are: (1) “Do you feel safe at home?” (2) “Have you fallen lately?”

 

The thought of the question: “Have you fallen lately?” set off the alarm bells in my head. I was now fully awake and ready to get out of bed and get on with my life. Under the auspices of full disclosure and total transparency, I have to confess I could be a hypochondriac. I think that is true of a lot of old people. That is one of the fears associated with advancing age. I don’t want to be like that.

 

I found myself wondering if I fell earlier in the week because I was clumsy and not paying attention or had I fallen because I had a stroke? I’m going with “clumsy and not paying attention” as the correct answer. However, I resolved to myself that I need to be more careful. That concept also reinforced the earlier thought that life is a gift.

 

Yesterday was indeed a gift. It was my understanding that Craig and crew were going home after my son took his daughter deer hunting. As I drove to work, I was prepared for it to be very quiet when I got home from work yesterday. The downside to company is the house always seems empty when they are gone. However, when my granddaughter’s early morning deer hunting experience was foiled by a low flying helicopter, the seven bucks she and her dad had in their sight (or did I mean to write sites) exited stage right. The same thing happened again yesterday afternoon.

 

My son is a patient man. He opted to stay another night and provide Jenna another opportunity to get a deer this morning before they head homeward. As it turned out, Andrea and Kevin invited everyone to their home for pizza last night. It was a very relaxing evening.

 

Before the evening was over, I caught a tender moment between by daughter and her brother. I overheard her say, “ I need your help with the lottery. I really need for you to do this”. What was she talking about? As it turns out, she wants her brother to run with her in the U.S. Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. next fall. Three years ago she had trained to run the marathon with him. She was ready for a twenty-six mile jaunt. Months before, she’d cleared with her supervisor at work that she could have the time away. Unfortunately she got a new supervisor and the timing didn’t work. She had to cancel on the marathon.

 

Andrea and her brother have always been close despite the fact that he is her much older brother. He was 9 ½ years old when she was born. Regardless of ages, having adult children who love and enjoy times shared together is a gift. You don’t always find that.

 

Jake told Gram yesterday afternoon: “Gram I am sorry that we have to go home tomorrow. I like spending time with you. We’ll be back soon.” Last night before bedtime, I told Jake that Gram and I are grateful that he likes spending time with us. He responded, “Why wouldn’t I?” The kid is amazingly kind.

 

I then asked: “Jake, what did you like best about the week?” He made a one-word response, “Everything”. I followed that question with: “ Does anything stand out above everything else”. He answered, “No”. I asked, “Could it have been your birthday?” “No” “Could it have been that you shot your first deer; that you got an eight point?” With  a sense of finality, he answered: “No. I liked everything!”

 

I don’t hunt and I don’t run. I’m not sure how I really fit in with this family, but I’m grateful to be included.

 

All My Best!

Don

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