Monday, February 27, 2006

Rainy Days & Mondays

I spent the entire weekend in bed with a cold.
I knew I was getting sick on Friday—that achy, not-quite-right feeling you get just before your body betrays you. Like the pink-orange calm of a late evening sky, just before a thunderstorm sneaks in from the east.

Saturday was cold and rainy in Houston, and I did venture out to breakfast with an aged aunt and uncle to celebrate their birthdays. Then back to bed.

Do you realize what a blessing it is to have the aged among us? We sometimes get caught up in the argument that seniors are draining Social Security, and are a burden on society. I think that’s the kind of wrong-headed thinking that sells short the benefits that this segment of society can still offer.

The historical perspective they can provide is but one facet to be appreciated. My Uncle is part of that “Greatest Generation” that Tom Brokaw wrote about. He served in WW-II. He came back home after the war and raised four kids. He’s buried one son and is now a widower, but he still lives a full, active life between golfing and church activities, and visiting his six sisters.

I honestly believe that each of these amazing siblings all keep each other going, all into their 70’s and 80’s now. That’s the power of strong family ties, and their example has always been an inspiration and encouragement to me.

My aunt was a registered nurse. While retired now, she’s never been far from tending to the afflictions of others in the family, and was regularly checking on my recovery progress. I sometimes worry that she worries too much about her extended family of in-laws, grandkids, nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and nephews. There’s a passel to keep up with. But she wouldn’t be who she is without that drive to nurture and heal.

So I met them for breakfast at The House of Pies, and we shared stories and laughed, and wished each other well. And I went home to disappear into a bottle of Nyquil for the weekend.

This morning, I got up and showered in water as hot as I could stand, steaming my head open for the day ahead. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to be 80, but this morning was a pretty close estimate. I imagine my 80-something uncle may wonder what it would be like to feel 51 again, because I sometimes allow my mind to wander back to how it felt to be 25, the age of my son.

Such mental meanderings are pointless, unless they provide a perspective from which to appreciate where we are, what we have, and how far we’ve traveled. It also is a good exercise to help keep from taking things for granted…like a family that is a help in everyday survival.

See you in the morning on the Radio.

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