I wish I could be festive and joyous this holiday season. But this year seems to be ending with the same thud I’ve experienced the last few years. I don’t want to be the grumpy old man that yells, “Get off my lawn!” But as gravity drags my face and body to the ground, it seems almost like destiny to happen. Currently I’m swollen to epic proportions. My left kidney and urethra are hurting at a steady pace. I’m having to use the painkillers so sparingly, they really have no effect other than the side effects.
A friend asked me earlier, what my word for the year would be? All I could think of was, “Ouch!” I mean besides dreading turning 60 all year, let alone just making it to 60. I’ve endured continued gastro issues, had a cardiac ablation, not to mention kidney stones…twice. This doesn’t include any of my past or present mental health issues, or struggles being a caregiver. I am basically a “F**ked-up mess.” I suppose this is where I go into survival mode and talk myself down from the ledge of self-pity. But being alone in someone else’s house on the holidays in sub-freezing temperatures, isn’t conducive for motivating self-talk.
So I lay here for a moment and let the physical pain surround me. Because down to it’s basic core what is happiness without pain, what is life without death? For a moment the words comfort me, reminding me I am no better than anyone else. That all pain, joy, life, and death comes from the same source. Don’t ask me to explain the theology. I’m apparently just an old squirrel still searching for a nut. Do what you have to do to get by. Be mindful of other’s feelings and personhood. Spread kind words when you can. And take it easy on yourself.
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FD Thornton, Jr
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