Thursday, February 20, 2014

THE THINGS WE TAKE FOR GRANTED

A few years back as many of you know, I had my knees replaced.  They had gotten to the point where there wasn't any other choice but still it was pretty scary.  And I'm pleased to say that I had an exceptional result with them both.  I had a wonderful doctor, a very good physical therapist and I did everything that I was told to insure that I would have the best outcome possible.  You could say I was the poster child for knee replacements and I often was asked to talk to people who were considering such a complicated surgery.

As time went by, at least a year before I tried kneeling figuring that, like everything else, I'd healed enough so that should come back, too.  My doctor moved out of the area after my second knee was done (was it something I said?) so I didn't have the advantage of having my surgeon available to discuss this with so I thought, well, give it a little more time and all will be well.  Even my physical therapist was under the impression that sewing the original knee cap over the appliance was standard in knee replacement surgery.  So, as you've probably guessed by now, that wasn't the case and you'd be surprised how living without a kneecap effects your life.

As with so many things, I turn to humor and writing poetry to add a little levity to even the most difficult situations.  Hope you enjoy this one.

MY KNEES PLEASE
by Patty Lynn

I guess I took for granted
What really was important,
A part of me without, you see,
For granted doesn't warrant.

You see some seven years ago
My doctor said, "They're failing.
Your knees will be unbearable
And you will soon be wailing.

The pain will overtake your life.
You'll have discomfort walking.
The time is now, I mean, and how.
You're xray, well it's shocking!"

So what was I suppose to do?
I didn't have a choice.
The doctor seemed so positive.
And still that little voice...

Inside me wondered, "Was this right.
Was surgery the answer?"
I had real faith in who he was,
This Doc, I thought, a master.

Besides he told me that I was,
The perfect age for knees.
"They last some twenty years, you see.
The surgery's a breeze."

So on I went to have my knees
Replaced, I think they call it,
But had I known what I know now
I'd say, "You better stall it."

Don't get me wrong I'd have to say
The knees are a success.
But I've a bone that I must pick,
An issue I'd address...

For no one told me when replaced,
"Your knees won't have a kneecap,
And you can't kneel anymore.
Hope you don't have a mishap!"

A mishap, oh, a fall you mean.
I get it, 'cause I've fallen.
Without your kneecaps you are stuck
And there you lie, you're callin'...

For anyone who'll help you up,
Can lift you to your feet.
You can't turn over anymore
And then get to your knees!

Without your kneecaps now I know
How much to have them meant.
You feel so helpless 'cause you are.
It feels like you're cement!

So falling is a nightmare, yes,
Dread every time I do it.
But know what I will always miss?
A tub, to get into it...

And take a warm relaxing bath
Reclining there and soaking.
I'd close my eyes and sip some wine.
Sounds heavenly, no joking.

I'll let you think on that a bit.
The getting in, well, possible.
But getting out now that's a trick.
I'd say mission impossible.

And so, as I look back on it,
The knees had to be done.
But all in all, I'd have to say
No kneecaps, that's no fun.


Monday, February 17, 2014

JUST AS I PROMISED

Tonight's blog is as I promised, a poem about the inevitable, growing older.  It's not a topic to be discussed, questioned or debated, because getting older is inevitable.  It happens to everybody, like it or not, but whether you do it gracefully or will do anything to slow it down, it happens.  For me, aging is new territory.  Now that may seem like a strange thing to say but what I mean is until recently (within the last 5-8 years or so) I was just getting older each year. Then suddenly it became obvious that parts of me were wearing out, my flesh was being distributed differently, there was pain involved in doing the same daily activities.  When those things began to happen, I became aware that I was aging. 

The analogy I would make is the sell by and use by date on food.  There's a time factor and past that time the food expires.  Now, I'm not trying to sound morbid, like I think I'm getting close to my expiration date.  I don't know when that day will come but when it does I'll, well...expire.  That is a little funny, don't you think so?

Anyway, bear with me and my aging poems.  They say (whoever they are) that it's best to write about what you know and this subject is one with which I am imminently aware.  I'm sure there will be many to come.

I'VE FALLEN & I CAN'T GET UP
by Patty Lynn

"I've fallen and I can't get up,"
We've laughed at that commercial.
'Cause poking fun at aging, well,
Those laughs are universal.

"Can't find my keys, where did I park?"
"What was I going to say...?
Old people are hilarious
Until time goes astray...

And suddenly you find yourself
Befuddled and forgetting.
The simplest things are difficult,
To say the least, upsetting.

As time creeps up and, boy, it creeps,
You simply have to face it,
And though you wish control was yours,
There's nothing that will chase it...

Away from you, it's there to stay.
You simply have to own it.
Controls not yours, you're not at fault,
And, no, you haven't blown it.

The point is we grow older.
We all do, that's the truth,
And though we wish we could go back,
We can't rekindle youth.

Besides we'd likely do the same
With choices that we'd make.
And we'd end up just where we are.
That's really no mistake.

Old people made us laugh when we
Were young and had no clue.
Youth thinks its funny till the time
Old people are, well...you.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

TIME'S REALITY

I've really missed this, times when the poems I write just flow with very little prompting.  It's been a long dry spell so though it's late and some things got put on hold today, I just went with it.

I've never counted how many of my poems center around aging but I'm sure it would be quite a few.  I guess the only explanation (if one is needed) is I've never been more aware of the process of aging before. It was merely another year older made up of many and varied highs and lows, family, plans, projects, activities and, of course, the anticipation of  RETIREMENT.  Why all caps?  Because that was always the goal, unspecified time and more time in general.  Oh, and that was the best part, TIME.  I could do what I wanted to do and have oodles of hours with which to do it.

That last part is my favorite, oodles of time LOL.  Yes, I said LOL.  I'm hip, I know the lingo. And why did those oodles make me laugh?  Because, surprise, you still run out of time!  Why?  Because everything takes longer to accomplish, you take longer so you don't get anymore done than you did when you were working.  Ah, cruel fate, but true.  Don't get me wrong, retirement is great, just different than I expected.  If you're there, that is, retired, what I've said is no news to you but if you aren't there yet you still have all of this to look forward to.

So to make a long story...longer, the next few poems will most likely be about the time-worn subject of AGING.  Tonight's offering is one of those poems that I merely began...what followed was a poem that took on a mind of it's own with two titles.

HOW MUCH SAND IS LEFT? or
The Power of a Smile
by Patty Lynn

Lest this come off as negative, a melancholy tale,
I must confess that more or less, it looks behind the veil...
Of that unspoken, often broken place some can't abide,
For aging brings for some a sting from which they run and hide.

This 'place' that I refer to, this broken place I mention
Is one that some won't talk about or even call attention...
To the truth we face each morning, yes, the face that's there before us
Especially the women folk who often sing in chorus:

"Those tiny lines and wrinkles are now longer, wider, deeper.
The lids above my eyes are such, they sag above my peepers...
So much so that I find that it's more difficult to see.
My laugh lines, why, they're craters now, where can the laughter be?"

You say you're not complaining but merely stating fact?
I'd say I've got some news for you, though lacking in some tact.
This all sounds superficial, on vanity you touch...
Forgo beauty's obsession and do not dwell so much...

On what you see as damage, are normal signs of aging.
No matter how you nip & tuck, time's war goes right on waging.
Your body needs your tending; make health your main concern.
Keep calories in balance with food that helps the burn.

For gravity it takes its toll on inner and on outer.
So if you're honest, face the facts, you're foolish if a doubter.
Some people age at different rates, some do look younger longer,
But lifestyle plays a part in it; it's not too late to ponder.

They say that you are only this, as old, dear, as you feel,
Which sounds real great when you feel good, but most days aren't ideal.
So heed my words, time marches on and you can choose to be...
An occupant of Sunny Town or suffer the disease...

Of negativity, that black contagion that is spread...
From one complainer to the next until life's joy is dead.
Who know how many days you have, how many grains of sand,
Till God decides to take you home, I hope you understand.

There's just no way for you to know when that day will arrive.
All you can do is make the choice to live each day, to strive...
To be the best that you can be, make all you do worthwhile...
And never underestimate the power of a smile.