When I began blogging I wanted to make this a true account of what life is like for an old woman. Most of my posts have been positive; mostly I enjoy myself. This post is different, but it’s part of my story.
Now I am feeling very old. I didn’t begin the day that way: I was out of the house by 8 am and went to meet Phyllis, who never showed up. By 8:15 I gave up on her and went walking by myself. It’s a gorgeous day, sunny and cool. I went into Frick Park, walked briskly down my usual path and stopped occasionally to take some pictures. I’ve been playing with the camera, getting ready to take it to Japan. I wanted to try some new settings.
Walking through the park alone on a weekday is a little scary. I guess I never would have thought about it, but Mary scolded me when she found out I went alone. There were a few runners and dog walkers, but I was alone for long stretches. There are places where I could hear an echo of my own footsteps. Nothing happened and everything was good until I got back to within 2 houses of home. Strangely, there was a plastic lawn chair and a table under a tree in front of the old coach house. I’m sure it was never there before. As I continued looking at it I tripped on a bump in the sidewalk and fell, hitting my knees, hands, torso and finally my lips. I was lucky, nothing broke. My knees are sore; my left thumb is bruised and scraped; a small stone cut into the palm of my left hand and, most embarrassing, I have a fat lip. I’ve been icing it, which has helped.
No one saw me fall. My street is blocked at one end so it’s very quiet. No cars drove by and there was no one to help me. I ascertained that nothing was broken (my worst fear), and that I did not have to use my cell phone to get help. I sat for a few minutes catching my breath and recovering. Then I had to get up. There was nothing, not even a bush, to grab onto. With painful shaking knees I lifted myself off the ground and almost fell again. Slowly, painfully, I managed to straighten up and walk home.
The worst part of all of this is what it does to my self-confidence. I’ve fallen before, usually without giving it much thought. In recent years I have congratulated myself on not having frail bones that break easily. But all of this brings up thoughts of restricted movement and activities. The worst part about aging is the possible loss of mobility and independence. This kind of event makes me horribly aware of how close I live to the edge.