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Monday, 05 April 2010

Life is Not Fair

By Mary B Summerlin who keeps a photostream at Flickr

Did you know that? Yes, you did – you’ve learned it over the years. It all started when you were a little one and you were sure your brothers and sisters were being treated better than you. And you whined and fussed about it – to no avail.

Then there was school. Were the teachers fair? No, they always favored someone else. You were sure of it. It was because someone else was prettier or smarter or lived in the right part of town or belonged to the right church. You know. Just think about it.

Then there was marriage. Was your husband always fair? Mine wasn’t! It seemed like he always took up for somebody else before me. Oh well, you get the idea.By the time we’re seniors, like us – I’m lumping us all together. We all know it’s a fact - life is not fair.

When we get treated unfairly, usually we just shrug our shoulders and say “That’s the way it is”. And then get on with our lives.

Well, recently something unfair happened that I’m still trying to get over. Can you believe that? At my age? I’ll tell you about it.

I was in the hospital for colon surgery. I couldn’t eat the day before – I had to clean out my colon. I had the operation and couldn’t eat then because the colon had to begin to heal first. So, four days passed and I had not eaten.

I’m hypoglycemic and that means I operate best when my meals are regularly scheduled. I mean best physically and psychologically. Physically, my stomach cramps, I sweat, I have chills, I feel achy all over. Psychologically, I begin to feel desperate, I want to eat – I don’t care what it is. At the time, I’m sure a piece of cardboard would be just fine.

So by the fourth day – I’m a mess (in many ways) but we’re talking about food now. Then the word comes from on high that I can have chipped ice. The nurse brings me a cup of chipped ice and I begin to eat. Ohhh, I savor it. It’s better than lobster, my favorite food.

Ice is perfect for two reasons – it is a substitute for food, it keeps my mouth busy and I get water. The second reason is that I love ice. Maybe it’s because of my southern roots. I always fill my drinks with ice cubes. My daughter-in-law has a standing joke: “Here comes my mother-in-law. It doesn’t matter if the house is a mess but there had better be ice cubes in the refrigerator.”

So, I spent the day eating ice and am happy as a lark. The night nurse commented on the fact that I had eaten three pitchers of ice. She suggested that maybe I ought to slow down. I couldn’t think why.

The next day the doctor comes in. We are discussing stuff and then we get to the fact that my ankles and feet are swollen. That means I’m retaining water. Then the doctor has the audacity to say, “You’d better watch how much liquid you take in.”

In horror, I ask, “You mean ice, too?”

And he says, “Of course.”

Now is that FAIR? Ice – no calories, no salt, no preservatives. It’s the perfect thing to eat as much as you want. And don’t you know, now I have to watch how much ice I eat.

OHHHH, I growl, and growl, and growl.

Life is not fair – it’s as if I discovered it for the first time.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


You know, Mary,it's for sure that the stars are not aligned in your favor when they limit how much ICE you are allowed to have...

Oh,well,anything for a complete recovery,which I hope you had.

Mary, what a sad story. I'm sure, however, that it gave you a new appreciation for the simple things, even ice. Ice was all you had at that point and they took even that away. I hope all is well now. We need you in this world.

Makes me thirsty just to read it! That was torture, I know. Glad it's not all the time. Great piece, Mary.

Your words are very true and you have every reason to growl!

Hope you’re feeling better soon.

Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate them. I am very lucky - the cancer was caught in it's early stages. The operation took care of it. Hallelujah.

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