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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Letter to my Body

By Mary B Summerlin who keeps a photostream at Flickr

Dear Body,

I know, I know. It’s time for a new understanding. You’ve just demanded attention causing me to end up in the hospital. I’ve lived many years not giving you attention. So you have made your feelings known.

I was blessed with a good strong body and I took it for granted. I did not properly take care of you. I pushed you to the limits and beyond. You never complained. Oh maybe a cold, the flu or a migraine now and then. I temporally stopped, took care of the immediate problem, then was up and going full speed again.

I am now 76 years old and you have made yourself known. You have proved the body rules. If the body is not in good health, it comprises everything else. My heart and lungs are both compromised and affect each other. My blood system is very fragile and hard to keep balanced and of course arthritis reigns throughout my body.

If I want to continue living an independent life, I must slow down, choose activities carefully. I must reinvent myself! Well, I’ve done that before. It’s what I did when I got married, it’s what I did when I got divorced and it’s what I did when I was a single working mother.

Those are some of the major ones but there were many others.

Okay, now at the age of 76 years old, I have to change myself, change my ways. I have to change the way I live and do things. It's okay, Body, you’ve more than done your share. Now just hang in with me while I find ways for both of us to live happily. I know I can do it, just please give me enough time.

Look out world – here I come hobbling along but coming just the same. I’m doing creative interesting things, 'cause see, I’m still curious and I have much to learn and give.

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

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


More power to you!! I like that attitude.

I fear I will be forced someday to do the same slowing down and finding a way to remain creative.

Dear Mary,
We should all sign your letter in support for our own body and others at this stage. Ronni's wonderful web site is a great place for sharing with each other.
Your letter is great....
Michigan Grandma

Well-done piece, Mary. I wish it had never had to be written, though. It's hard for those who love you to see you have to slow down to a crawl and give up things you love.


Your essay was written for ALL of us to read and respond to ourselves.

I hope you are still able to use your camera because you take beautiful pictures that we all enjoy.

Hope you are feeling better now....

Dear Mary: What a touching way to describe your body's aging process. Good luck on your new routine.

Mary - They say that after 50 it's, "patch, patch, patch"!

King Arthur said to Guenivere while looking at a figure coming out of the woods, "Oh, that's just Merlin. He doesn't age, he youthens!"

I continue to search far and wide for new ways to 'youthen'! - Sandy

You got it in a nut shell. I just keep on doing all the things I used to do just much slower. I need to cut down on my food intake too. I've gotten really wide, darn it. My trick for mobility is to work out at the gym and do water aerobics.

Mary-This reminds me of a story of an old farmer who took care of many acres, then sold off and kept an acre, still farming. Eventually he ended up with a window box, but "still farming."
May we all find a way to keep farming.

Mary, as always, you are showing those of us who are just a bit behind you how to proceed. And, as always, thank you.

Hope you are feeling better soon. Never give up, never give up, never give up. Totally stolen advice, but really fits here.

Friends, thank you for your kind and understanding words.

TY for a beautifully written piece. I love the many great comments, too.
Your spirit is terrific, and I believe that's major in the effort to "keep on keepin' on!" When we're blessed with strength in our youth it's hard to face, and accept gracefully, the slowing down part of life.
A pretty, handcrafted sign hangs in my PT's office: "If you don't take care of your body, where will you live?" I wish I'd seen it years ago! So we'll take the best care that we can from here forward! Keep that spirit strong!

Thank you Irene.

Yoga and meditation are both wonderful ways to deal with the body issues that plague us. The benefits of both increase with practice. And, it helps the mind to deal with these challenges.

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