Sunday, July 27, 2014


                DO  SOMETHING

                   TODAY THAT


                    THANK YOU


I have been rummaging through old pictures, some of them almost vintage quality. I find myself at once fascinated and nostalgic by the moments captured on black and white film or old colored, faded Kodak snapshots. Memories floating...taking me back to there and then.

Pictures of my Dad in the Army as he served for three years in Italy during World War II. Pictures of my Mom and Dad in Lorredo, Texas before he was sent overseas. Old photographs of me when I was just a little girl, perhaps six or seven, with an over-sized baby buggy that held my baby doll, Emily.

Yet of all the photographs I've unearthed in this walk down Memory Lane, I am honestly most intrigued by the photographs of my Mom, found in an antique suitcase with weathered straps and one missing buckle. The remaining buckles are old and tarnished, and I can almost imagine the invisible fingerprints of my Grandma and Grandpa who traveled with this "valise,"as they used to call it.  

There are pictures of  my Mom, Dolores, at the ages my girls are now... 37 and almost 35. They are mostly posed photos, with a bit of a formal feel to them, and Mom often has a reluctant smile. It looks like she's a bit shy in being the center of attention. 

And while huge smiles and loving being the center of attention are more like my daughters and myself,  the physical resemblance with my Mom, in some aspects, is absolutely uncanny. I am always amazed at how our genes pass along the littlest details from generation to generation...toes that are uniquely the same. A quirk in the littlest toe that is just as cute as can be. I adore seeing how my sweet daughters look, in some ways, just like my Mom.

And I have unearthed pictures of me as a young woman in my twenties, thirties, and early forties. It's a shock to see a photograph of me at 37 in a two-piece bathing suit and see a similar summer-time photo of my oldest daughter, now 37 years old herself. YIKES!

When I look at myself in those pictures I almost have to ask-Who is that young woman?  Where did that time go? What happened to the great physical shape she used to be in back then? Why does she now struggle with taking good physical care of herself?

Prior to a serious knee injury and several surgeries, I used to be a runner. Not a competitive athlete mind you, but I loved to go out and run a mile or two. That just isn't in the cards anymore, and while I walk every morning at the college, before classes start, I need to find some new low-impact ways to exercise.

What is increasingly clear to me, as I work on who I am at 67, is that taking care of myself physically has often been at the bottom of the priority list. Who am I kidding? It has hardly made the list at all. 
No wonder I landed in the Heart Trauma Center several months ago. 

It's very easy for me to put my family, my students, my friends all ahead of me. I'm the first one to remind Bert or Amy or Jessi about how they need to see a doctor. I keep track of Bert's medications meticulously. 

Yet somehow making time for me, to take care of me, seems a bit selfish. Or easy to put off. As silly as it sounds, I may think, foolishly, that it won't all catch up with me. Somehow, I'll be exempt from paying the consequences of neglect.  I'm truly not sure what I'm afraid of, but it's time to change how I am operating.

After all, those old photographs are also a reminder of the "legacy" of poor self-care that existed in my family-of-origin. My beloved Mom was a smoker for much of her adult life. She paid an enormous price as she got older for her unwillingness to change some of the poor habits she had developed. She refused to quit smoking. She died from emphysema, a smoker to the very end. My Dad died of heart disease, brought on by poor eating habits and being overweight.

I do not, repeat... DO NOT, want to neglect my body like they did and suffer the consequences of  poor choices I am making.

It's time to make choices that my body, down the road, will thank me for.

In a recent post I shared a new sense of optimism and energy I am feeling as I look forward to all life has in store for me. I also mentioned that I had some "clean up" work to do in preparation for beginning that new part of my life. After much prayer, and important conversations with my beloved Bert, I realize that first things first. It's time time to take better care of the gift God gave me, my body. That's my important first step in saying "YES!" to my life.

So... this next week I will be setting up a battery of appointments. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. I know that this precious body belongs to God and He believes I am worth taking time out to take better care of it. 

Could I ask a favor? Could you please keep me in your prayers this week that I will follow through on making these appointments? Your encouragement and prayers mean the world to me. 

I'll keep you updated on how all of this goes!
God Bless!

1 comment:

Peggy Sue said...

Oh Oh, I am right behind you on this one...I too had to pull off and take time for my health..I had blood panels done...and found out my vitamin D was way low!!! this explained the fatigue and pain in my bones...Then a bump on my leg had to be biopsied..all good there :) and dental work...but I have been concerned for you and so I will have many prayers going up in your behalf...hang in there beautiful Lady! much love xoxox

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