Taking care

I found out that my Mom was not going to survive Pancreatic Cancer on a night when I was in Indianapolis eating at a steakhouse with participants in a user group meeting about a telephone switch. It was the day of her MRI to see if  the four weeks of chemotherapy had worked.

Elsa G. McCain

My Mom, Elsa. (Photo by William S. McCain)

I stepped out of  the restaurant before the main course arrived, to call home and find out the test results. As  I stood on the sidewalk talking on the phone and crying, night was closing in, and my life  was changing.

That was probably the last time I spoke to my Mom. She told me not to cry and she told me to take care of myself.She wasn’t going to be there anymore to take care of me, so I was supposed to take care of myself.

That was six years ago, and for much of that time I’ve been able to take care of myself because my life was all about me. I have other priorities now; my husband, my father, the dogs and the cats.

Every day after work I go see my Dad, who lives just around the corner. I’m glad that I can have my Dad so close, but in the old days, when I came home from work I could do yoga or one of my workout DVDs. These days, when I get home from Dad’s place, I have to share the tv with my husband so there’s not much chance to do a workout DVD.  If I decide to lie on the floor and do some crunches and leg lifts I can’t do very many because Sadie thinks my time should be spent playing with her. I’m just not getting the exercise I need to be happy and healthy. I’m not taking care of myself the way I should be. I have permission to take care of myself because my Mom told me to.

I’ve gained a few pounds in the last couple of months and my legs nearly gave out from our day at Nashville, IN. It’s time to admit that I’m out of shape. It’s time to use that gym membership that I pay for every month.

Today I’m going to the gym after work. I’ll do a warm-up with some walking, and maybe the rowing machine. I’ll do  strength work focusing on the lower body and then I’ll stretch (I love to stretch). It will be my time and I will do it at least twice a week, hopefully more often.

I want to be healthy and stay healthy. I’ve seen what the passing years can do to those who haven’t stayed physically active and I don’t want that to be my future. My grandmother lived to be 102, so I may be looking at 60 more years of life. I want those years to be good ones!

And here’s Sadie! Oh, and thanks for the advice Mom.



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