Want to know the scariest thing about this Halloween? Aging. I was rummaging through my digital files looking for a good Halloween image to use in a project when I came across this x-ray of my back. Yup, it’s for reals. I had a spinal fusion for scoliosis at 16 and they threw in a Harrington rod for good (straightening) measure. It was state of the art in 1974 but today could easily be featured as a prop in a horror movie.
It’s been a rough year. I’ve been undergoing spinal injections to remedy pinched nerves and collapsed discs (see the red, non-smiley face) to determine if/when/which/where to approach with a surgical intervention. This was complicated by a bad fall & a wrist sprain that keeps giving me grief. (I had 3 separate people tell me, “You should have broken it, it would heal faster.”) Roll that all up into a ball and nest it with feuding PMS & menopause and you have some idea of why my romantic 23rd wedding anniversary dinner left me a little weepy. As we drove home we talked about all the people who filled our house the night before the wedding and how many of them were now missing, waiting for us on the “other side.” As we pulled in to the driveway and got out of the car, I felt that familiar catch of pain in my lower back. Joe immediately caught my arm and walked me up the front steps. When we got inside I burst into tears and said, “I feel like I’m aging before my own eyes!” to which Joe replied, “Yeah, with a bullet!” Thankfully, it broke the tension and I had a good, long laugh. No one can call it like Joe – he’s the “glass half full” anchor in my life.
So the treatments continue and we’ve made progress to the point where I can actually sit comfortably. I am ready to get back to my sewing soon, even if it’s just hand sewing and making hexagons. I always feel better when I’m at the Bernina, or cutting up new fabric, or whipping a binding on to a quilt. It feeds my soul, I like the creative process, and it makes me feel like I have accomplished something wonderful. Best of all - I get to make another baby quilt! My wonderful niece and god-daughter, Katie, is due in the spring. I like sewing for a new little life. It puts the whole aging thing into perspective and motivates me to push through the bumps and dips because the view from the heights is all that much better. Maybe that is the secret to growing old gracefully – as hard as it is to keep patching up the old body, it’s worth it a thousand times over when you experience the world with so much wisdom and experience – and love – in your lenses.