As most of you know, today is my birthday. But what many of you may not know is that today is also my mother‘s birthday. Yep, I was born on her 22nd birthday. From what I’m told, I kinda made my appearance when she least expected it. Yeah, that sounds like something I would do.
😉 I’m slick like dat…I’m cool like dat.
But that’s not the reason I’m writing this post tonight.
I talked to my mother on the telephone earlier this evening to wish her a happy birthday. Actually I was returning her call to me this morning. I was finishing up my bath when her call came through. When I told her this, she said that she had just finished her bath when she decided to call me.
Furthermore, she mentioned that she’s still having problems with swelling and pain in her left knee and may be having knee surgery next month. Now, before you ask, why is this important, fearless blogger…I’m going to get to that in a moment.
She said something very profound to me that made me thank the good Lord that she was my mother. She said that she realized that her knee wasn’t going to get any better, that it wasn’t temporary and that she’s willing to seek proper medical attention. Now, here’s a couple of reasons why this was so striking to me. I, too, have knee problems…particularly in my left knee. Last August, I went under the knife to repair a pretty bad meniscal tear. The surgeon told me after the procedure was completed, that I have significant arthritis in this knee and that I would continue to have some pain. But the pain from the tear has since lessened to the point where I can move around pretty well, so at least the procedure was a success. But I don’t think I could have waited 20+ years to have this issue addressed. So in addition to the non-coincidence that we both have problems with our left knee, it reinforced a powerful point: that sometimes waiting may not give us the payoff that we expected.
So as GenXers, our parents are good examples of what we should be doing to take care of our health. One, it’ s important to go to the doctor for annual checkups. Don’t put them off. Two, it’s vitally important to know as much about your family health history as you can. That way you may be able to stave off illnesses through preventative health care from a primary care physician.
And three, it’s a blessing to listen to your parents laugh, truly laugh and enjoy themselves. It’s a reminder to not take myself so damn seriously. To crack up a bottle of wine and enjoy some jazz. To talk on the telephone with a cherished friend. To turn the lights down low and just enjoy the darkness. To make plans to spend the holidays with family.
I don’t really know how my mother really felt about being pregnant with me and then delivering me on her birthday, but I do know that she’s one of my birthday presents too. And this, my friends, is as good as it gets.
So, in what kinds of ways have your parents made an impact on you recently? If they are deceased, what are the key life lessons they taught you, inadvertently or otherwise, that you carry with you to this day? Speak your piece.