In early November, my husband, Grit, and I took ourselves to Arizona to enjoy the sun.
We probably didn't need to this year as it has been warm and mostly snowless in Utah, but we didn't know that would be the case, so sun chasing we went to warm our bones.
Grit immediately started golfing with a friend for several days only to come up with a greatly swollen knee. After nursing it along a time or two, "True Grit," the man of steel, finally agreed to go to a doctor.
Flash back 55 years when, as a BYU football player, Grit was injured during a game against Montana University.
The week before they had played L.A. State where he had scored three touchdowns and kicked an extra point for a total of 19 points. This was in the era of "three yards and a cloud of dust." That was a lot of points for one player to score and he was the hero of the game.
Grit remembers taking a very long train ride from Montana to Provo nursing a miserably sore knee, which eventually needed to be fixed.
Back then there was no arthroscopy and his knee was compromised when much of the cartilage was taken out.
He was able to play two more years of college football on that knee, and lucky for him it has lasted well all these years.
This time the doctor informed him, after seeing the X-ray, that he had a flat tire and was running on the rim.
Golda Meir once advised that, "Old age is like flying through a storm. Once you're aboard there's nothing you can do."
His knee was just worn out, and he needed replacement surgery.
Several of our good friends have gone through this procedure. One of them had both knees done at the same time. We hear there is a lot of pain involved, but amazingly most are able to function well again.
The medical community has created hip balls and sockets, knee joints and many other things to put a patient back together. The hip and knee joints last at least 20 to 30 years, depending on the wear and tear — possibly longer.
The procedure is amazing and takes from 45 minutes to two hours if all goes well. It is the therapy that takes time.
The result — you get your life back and are able to keep active instead of being bed-ridden or confined to crutches.
There are not many restrictions. A long list of things you can possibly do includes downhill skiing, ice-skating and doubles tennis.
Just because we grow older doesn't mean we don't still yearn to be active and participate as fully as possible in life. What young people don't realize is that it doesn't matter how old you get, you still see yourself as young.
George Carlin said it right when he quipped that, "I was looking in the mirror the other day and realized I haven't changed much since I was in my 20s. The only difference is I look a whole lot older now."
A couple of years ago, I went to my high school reunion for the first time because it was the 50th one. I looked around and wondered at all the old people there.
Certainly I didn't look that old did I?
Of course I did, but I was just used to my own face.
While we can't turn back time, still we are most fortunate to live in an age of miracles. It is a time when the technological advances allow us to grow older with grace.
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