Today is February 14th. In most parts of the world, romantic love takes center stage on this day we call, Valentines Day. But in Mexico, all love is celebrated.
This year, the day of love and friendship has special significance to me because in a week’s time I am having surgery. My knees are both shot, but the left is the worst. In fact I can no longer walk without major pain. And as I can’t accept the idea of settling permanently into a rocking chair, a knee replacement is my only viable option. Nonetheless I feel very sorry to be saying goodbye to my 70 year old left knee. We have had lots of good times…
It’s odd, but when I was a young woman, I remember getting health advice concerning my heart. I was urged to eat veggies, foods with lots of fibre and steer away from the carbs and saturated fats. I was also warned to watch out for my lungs. Like many people my age, I smoked and by my late 20s, every time I lit up, I was told I should quit. Keeping away from too much alcohol would keep my liver in good shape and plenty of water every day would ensure a healthy circulatory system. I followed the advice for the most part and don’t have many worries about my organs. But my joints are another matter.
I spent so much time outdoors and I walked miles every day. Not for a minute did I think my knees would give out on me. All the sun that I soaked in also took its toll … on my skin. It has not been so very long since effective sun blocks came on the market, so sun damage is my other ravage of time.
The upcoming knee operation has also set my mind romping along Memory Lane. Almost every waking moment, when I am not consciously thinking of something in the here and now, I am remembering friends and aquaintances that I’ve made over the years, I’m recalling the special places I have visited, and my students who taught me so much. The bulk of my interactions have been intercultural. Not always easy but always interesting.
So today, although my husband, Jorge is my special Valentine… I send out big kisses to my children, my granddaughter, my brothers and sisters and all my cousins. I hope everyone I call my friend feels included in the giant group hug that my heart is feeling right now.
And I have to say this too… Happy Valentines Day to my knees! I thank Old Leftie for all the pivoting, jumping, springing and all-round support given over the years. I doubt that my new ceramic, made-in-Germany knee will take all the guff I gave the original, but I am grateful for the modern medical procedures that will (hopefully) allow me to dance and dream my way towards many more Valentine’s Days.