First things first: my wonky knee seems to have decided that, as long as I treat it with respect and lots of TLC, it just might behave. Fortunately, the orthopedist I met with this week agrees. Since I've been mostly pain-free for the past several days and can now pretty much walk any distance so long as I've got the time to get there, I'm willing to pursue self-care and alternative therapies. Hence the illustration: I'm visualizing a healthy, happy knee joint. If I can see it, it will BE!
My intuition tells me that treatment should also include oral administration of several ounces of vinum rufus daily. (Since overdosing can adversely affect balance, I do need to exercise caution!) (Oh, and I need to cautiously exercise.) It goes without saying that I'm happy the S(urgery) -word wasn't recommendation number one. I understand that rehabbing a knee is not an overnight accomplishment, but I'd just as soon skip the cutting and scraping and 20% co-payment if letting time heal yields the same result, anyway.
While various medical practitioners have been peering into the innermost workings of my left knee, I've been also been looking inward -- and backward. A family friend, the man who introduced my parents to each other, has been going through his massive photograph collection and sending me pictures from the past thirty years or so. Ron was the self-designated documentarian of every social gathering he attended, and even if his ever-present camera was sometimes mildly intrusive, I am really touched that he has saved all his photos and is sharing them with the subjects now. His latest batch to me included a photo of my pregnant-with-intellikid self and TMFKAH*, which I could have done without adding to my collection, but the rest of the pics are priceless. (* = The Man Formerly Known As Husband)
Because my father is a subject in many of the shots, and because his death occurred around this time some seven years ago, I've been prone to bouts of melancholy this week. Why now, after all these years, does it feel like I need some sort of closure, and how the heck do I go about getting that? Maybe it's the sudden flood of photos and memories bringing it on, this feeling of not having done enough while I had the chance. Yet I know that my father was an adult, made his own choices with a more or less lucid mind. Still, I am angry that one of those choices was to let his phone bill go unpaid and cut off the one means of communication my sister and I, living 400 miles away, had. I'm also angry that his friends and brothers who lived nearer to him didn't intervene when they saw the hoarding getting out of hand and the house literally falling apart around him.
Last but not least, I'm unsure of what role I might have played in my father's decline. He and I weren't especially close, but we hadn't had any fallings-out, either. I suppose I should have seen his addictions as a symptom of something larger, rather than as an extended mid-life crisis; then again, what could I have done differently?
Deep down, I know the answer is, "Probably, nothing." My father was a notorious marcher to his own drummer, and of course his individualism is one of the traits I loved about him. I guess that Ron's photos and memories that accompany them are just making me realize that I still miss my dad, and of course that's an okay thing. Even if I wasn't expecting it.