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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Like Mother, Like Son

Atlas is nearly 12 years old and a real trooper. And often a pain in the ass. He doesn't like getting old. He has spinal arthritis that makes it difficult for him to get comfortable at night. He has some dementia. I don't think he "remembers" the way he used to be (a very fit athlete) but he's conditioned to feel that way (like "muscle memory.") And it's hard for him to adjust to his current level of physical deterioration. He gets restless and frustrated at night, trying to find that "perfect" sleeping position. He paces and pants, instead of just letting go and relaxing. He thinks there's something else he needs to do. He does NOT want to age gracefully!! He's writing checks that his body can't cash.
At 3:30 this morning, I tried to straighten out my stiff knee and roll over toward my husband. I moaned with the discomfort. Too much skiing too soon after my arthroscopic knee surgery for meniscus tears. I said to him (since we were both wide-awake listening to Atlas toss and turn), "He sure doesn't like to give up, does he? He's a stubborn old guy! He just doesn't want to quit."

As soon as I said them, the irony of my words hit me. Here we were, Atlas and me, a couple of old coots who didn't know when to quit! I couldn't just accept my aches and pains as part of aging....I had to keep going! Atlas couldn't just relax and let the world pass him by...he had to be in control of it all! Neither of us wants to give up and physically wither yet...even though it probably is time for us to slow down a little. Neither one of us has yet grasped that concept of "aging gracefully!"
Like mother, like son.

I guess Atlas, even though he's a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, must have some Norwegian in him too.

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