My very first thought this morning was a flashback of how I used to throw potatoes down the Albert Street hill in Cowansville. That 10 pound bag was way too heavy for me to carry from the grocery store as a child, and sometimes I got home with just a half bag of potatoes. I immediately realized that the bag represented my life for the past few months. The bulk of emotion from past health scares sits in “the bag” while some of it dribbles out each day.
At the end of June I had a series of heart attacks, then in January I tripped over a rug in the garage and landed on the hard concrete floor with a loud thud. Knowing there was not much left to give in the kneecap department, I lay there thinking my legs were not going to end up being very useful for a few months. I was right.
Throughout my life I have been labeled a klutz, and anything that was meant to trip over I have mastered that feat and more. A few years ago, even the family dog gave up on me after I tripped over a rock in the garden and lay on the ground in constant sorrow. When I figured out that maybe finally grasping a broken tree branch lying beside me might help elevate my aging body, the dog grabbed it out of my hand and ran off with it.
So while I have been healing for the past few months my links to my personal past have been blocked out. I have no problem writing about local history each day because if the former “cast from the past” tripped or almost killed themselves in the 1880s it wasn’t my problem. Anger about having to use a cane wore me out as I realized my Disco dancing days were never coming back. I also wasn’t grasping our British family tradition of having “a stiff upper lip” because I told and emailed my story to anyone who would listen. I honestly felt that the world had to suffer along with me.
This morning I woke up remembering the potatoes rolling down the Albert Street hill, and how a rusty old Quebec license plate on my tricycle gouged out a hole in my thigh when I fell off the curb. I believe the professional people you pay lots of money to would call it repressed memory associated with a high level of stress or trauma. But today the past finally emerged and it didn’t go to voicemail. It actually had a lot to say. In fact my inner voices insisted I immediately seniorcise my home! Today I think I have finally understood the only pole dancing I will ever do is if I install a senior handle bar on the bathtub. But, then again I think I will never be old enough to know better.