The World is a Rough Room

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Billy Crystal said this week that the world is a rough room.

Some days I feel that is true.

I think as a person gets older, he begins to face the real world.

Illness strikes, infirmities surface and life gets harder.

Just last week, a friend had pneumonia and was rushed to the hospital.

There it was found he also had lung cancer and a large tumor had to be removed from his chest.

It was an emergency situation.

When one is young, old age seems so far away. It is of no concern to the youthful vigorous teenager.

A teenager cannot envision a future with pills, doctor visits, and endless tests. His vocabulary doesn't include words like nuclear stress test, catscan, MRI, bone density, arthritis and limited mobility.

Life is a bowl of cherries and the future far away.

This isn't to say that life isn't good. It is, but sometimes it doesn't turn out the way we expect..

A nurse said recently that she questions why certain things happen.

She mentioned that she has a patient who is almost 100 years old and the patient is faring well, physically and mentally..

On the other hand she mentioned a young father who recently died, leaving a wife and young children.

She shakes her head and wonders why these things happen..

I think there are always whys that we don't understand.

Perhaps it's because we live in an imperfect world and it rains on the just and the unjust.

I used to look at my brother-in-law who spent his entire life in a wheelchair. He could not walk or talk, yet he was extremely smart.

He was trapped in a body that wouldn't work.

I used to question why, but there wasn't a good answer.

As a young bride, we start out with high hopes. We see ourselves in an apron in a house with a white picket fence.

We can't see anything but happiness looming ahead.

In my case, we didn't have a house with a picket fence. In fact, we didn't own a house for years.

Instead we lived in duplexes, fourplexes, and once, a converted garage in New Mexico. In Indiana, we lived in a rented cottage.

We had little money on my husband's military pay. When we married he was a low ranking private.

We pinched our pennies from one paycheck to the next, until he began to make rank..

As the song goes, we had our love to keep us warm.

We were blessed with two children, a daughter and a son.

They were strong and healthy. For that, my husband and I were thankful.

We expect our children to be born healthy, but that doesn't always happen.

I guess, in a way, we expect to always be healthy and happy, but with age, things change.

Age brings illness, unexpected pain, and waiting rooms.

Our medicine cabinet overflows with prescription pills, nose drops, eye drops, inhalers.

Sometimes, it's hard to remember what to take and when.

In early years we think we are the picture of health, and always will be.

We know that isn't so, but we believe it nonetheless.

I stop to think about my own friends and family members.

There's cancer, kidney failure, depression, alzheimer's disease, heart problems, stroke..

It's discouraging but encouraging, too.

There are so many wonderful remedies, cures, and medical miracles to help the ailing.

Children's cancers have been greatly reduced at cancer centers in America.

There are home dialysis machines, and surgical procedures that prolong life.

Yes, the world is a rough room..

But, at times, it's smooth sailing.

For that, we give thanks.

Viva la youth!