Having spent the Christmas holiday hobbling around my relatives' houses from crutches to rolling chairs to recliners to shower stools to my parents' bed because then I don't have to take the narrow stairs and am steps from a bathroom, I now understand why old people constantly talk about their health.
Especially with people who knew them when they were younger.
Using a shower stool and having to sit on the bathroom floor to put on makeup has been humbling. As has asking my seventy-year-old father to shovel the steps so I can hop my way down on one leg with breaking it, too.
I want to call everyone I knew in college, all those people who knew me when I was young and strong and capable of staying up for twenty-four hours, all those people who knew me when I was invincible, and scream, CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS SHIT?
This was not supposed to happen. We were not supposed to ever use shower stools or get cancer or develop auto-immune diseases. We were supposed to stay forever the age we feel inside.
We were supposed to stay invincible.
When I look at my sister and cousins, if I cry it's because you knew me then, and what if that's gone? I mean, I know it is and if it's gone for me, what if it's gone for you, too? How do we figure out how to float to the top now if it won't be physically effortless? How do we cling to the awesome we have buried somewhere under the doctor appointments and gauze?
If I feel that now after a broken leg at forty-one, I get it why old people drink coffee and blink at each other as yet another friend announces evidence of her mortality.
We were supposed to stay invincible forever. Dammit.