Remember the old TV commercial that used the phrase, “Help! Help! I’ve fallen!” to advertise a device to help seniors notify someone if they were in trouble? Well, I didn’t have the device, but I did have the fall a couple of weeks ago while walking down stairs in our home and talking on a cordless phone. (A guaranteed recipe for potential disaster if you are not carefully monitoring your feet). I ended up with a severely broken ankle, and wearing what feels like an 80-pound boot all day, every day.
So here I am today, June 3rd, my 76th birthday, keeping weight off my ankle while elevating it as much as possible, and icing it three times a day. To quote the late Jackie Gleason, I’m saying to myself, “what a revolting development this is!”
As one gets older, they might ask what is the meaning of all this. As I reflect on my state of relative immobility, I think about an old rabbinic teaching that says the first question you will be asked in heaven is NOT about all the sins you may have committed, but instead what legitimate pleasures did you forgo during your time on earth.
I could have been on a golf course the afternoon I fell, but instead I had been working in my study. Though I am the last person on our planet to be called a good golfer, I do greatly enjoy the game. But I have not been on a course in about 18 months. Why? Because I have been too busy!
How many others are like myself, just too busy to relax and enjoy life? Whenever possible, could we not try to take better hold of those moments that offer us a taste of the joys of existence? Perhaps the little girl in the paragraph below has a lesson for us all.
A police officer was visiting a kindergarten class and was trying to explain to the class what police officers did. In his presentation, he showed the class pictures of the 10 most wanted. One of the little girls in the class raised her hand and asked, “Are those mean people?” “Yes,” the officer said, “very mean, and we are going to catch them.” The little girl paused for a moment, and said, “well, why didn’t you hold on to them when you were taking their picture?”
Something to think about.