Today my amazing and accomplished mother, age 72, goes in for a double knee replacement. She put off having it done curtailing her mobility, slowly and inexorably. Mom felt recovery from surgery might interfere with serving as a hospital trustee or her term as President of her Rotary Club. Last year when I saw her she wouldn't go into a grocery store to shop because of the pain in her knee joints. Finally, when she couldn't walk last week, she realized she had better go in and have it done. Her doctor hadn't even tried to talk her out of waiting for the surgery. The pain would do all the talking necessary. He just got a bemused smile on his face when she figuratively cried 'uncle'. "I guess Rotary will have to wait," he said.
How many years of great knees do I have? However many I have, I do not want to use them on the all-American trip from the car to the mall entrance. I want them in service helping me hike Austria hut-to-hut, or exploring some Czech national park I've never heard of, or pounding the pedestrian pavement all over Prague.
Already, I've lived three years longer than my father. I hope I have a good ten years until the grandchildren come and I am needed back home. I want to make every single one of those years count.