Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Monday, June 1, 2009


My father had arthritis -- bad! I have arthritis -- bad!

I was thinking about my father's attempts to get up in the morning. I was thinking about this because I was sitting on the edge of the bed this morning, just as my father did every day of his later life.
Daddy always got up on the same side of the bed, even after mom had been put in her hospital bed a couple of years before she went to be with Jesus. Th
He would sit there and moan (as I do), knowing what was coming as soon as he tried to stand up (as I do).

I couldn't figure it out then. I would just watch him wondering why he was pondering getting off the bed.
Then, as he lifted himself from the side of the bed, after sitting there for about 10 minutes, getting up the courage, I suppose to face the pain, he would moan and groan all the way to the bathroom (as I do). By the time he had a warm shower, however, his moans were fewer and he was ready to face the day (as I am, most of the time).

My dad could still outwalk me (speedy as he was) when I was 50 and he was 82. He could beat me at tennis when he was 70 and I was, well, I'll let you do the math. In other words, he seemed to handle arthritis a lot better than I'm handling it.

He complained that his hands hurt all the time, and to keep his fingers "limber" he played the piano (pictured above) or he'd type out some notes for his Bible school students.

I play the piano only when I visit my son (he -- my son -- has my mom's/my piano), but I notice that my typing has slowed down a lot recently because of the constant pain in my own hands, which until about a month ago, I didn't have.

I'm not complaining, believe me. I know it could be worse. But I now know what my dear dad was going through all those years of moaning and groaning, and in which, I'm sure, I laughed at his discomfort, or made fun of him.

I've learned a lesson from my disrespect of his suffering, that is: laugh then, cry now. I do a bit of the latter now.
were in the same bed. That would be for 50 years plus.

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