Mama and Daddy used to complain about their aches and pains. When I would ask why something hurt they would say, “I don’t know, it just hurts.”
Daddy would sometimes laugh and say “you will find out, it just comes with age.”
As usual my daddy was right.
Every morning when I roll over in bed and put my feet on the floor a new “ailment” seems to hit. Cricks and cracks and aches and pains.
All winter my left knee bothered me, it would swell and throb, nothing major just an annoying pain.
This past week my right knee decided to get in on the fun and has been a constant nuisance. It catches, it hurts, it makes me limp….. OK, I get it, I am old!
Sometimes I will get an ache in my shoulder or for no known reason a rib may hurt, it’s always something. Nothing major, just a crick or a crack or an ache or a pain.
As I quickly race towards my date with morphine and a pain pump, I have decided what is wrong with me and quite frankly, these cricks and cracks and aches and pains are more of a blessing than a curse.
I have decided that the pains of being 50-something are much more about the joys of a fulfilled life than they are about a body that is catching up to too much weight and stress on joints.
The pain in my left knee that caused me to gimp around for large parts of the winter, I have decided that was caused by carefree days of summers past.
When I was a teenager, I spent most everyday on Lake Rabun, being pulled by my friend’s boat as we waterskied from one end to the other.
This nag in my knee has to be a way of reminding me of those carefree days being pulled and spraying and falling and jumping behind a boat being cheered on by friends and creating memories of sun-kissed skin on a scenic lake filled with glimpses in time.
If my left knee is about summers on the lake, it is only fitting that the pain in my right is a result of winters at Sky Valley, racing down hills of snow on skis that would give me a sense of freedom unlike anything else I had ever imagined.
Why would my neck hurt from time to time? Of course that was caused by the endless hours of laughter spent with friends in Lake Park, Florida.
Those countless days with friends like Jorge and Leigh and Alyson, Donna, Dick, Joy and Sam, so many of us together, just spending time enjoying life, throwing our heads back in laughter and celebration of lifelong friendships.
What’s a little neck pain, when it was caused by the joy of a chosen family that enriched my life in ways I can’t even imagine.
Could my backache be from the day Sam and Chelsea, Zack and I jumped from a plane fulfilling an item we all shared on our Bucket List?
If so, bring that pain on, it was worth the amazing feeling of floating through the air suspended in time as a parachute guided me towards land.
Those wrist aches….. dancing until dawn in Atlanta with friends who were learning about themselves the same way I was at the time.
My thigh, yes my thighs hurt sometimes too. Oh, but the joy of holding countless babies on my lap and cherishing those newborn dreams.
Life gives us cricks and cracks and aches and pains, but it also gives us joy and laughter and love and friends.
I think it’s all worth it and next time my eyelash hurts or my grip fails, I’ll just look back at the blessings I received along the way that caused those cricks and cracks and aches and pains to bring me such joy.