Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm fine, thank you. Why do you ask?

     I am finding myself more and more on the defensive when kind and polite people ask me, "How are you?"

      I have no reason in the world not to be fine; I have no pains, and my ills lie dormant. I have loving and devoted family. And yet, I get on my muscle, because it feels as if I need to defend my position as "fine."

     It feels to me as if that old automatic phrase, "Hi, how are you?" asks for an explanation of my exact, up to date description of every aspect of the good health I am enjoying.

     Each time the phone rings, and it isn't even all that often. I am compelled to say, " I feel wonderful. I'm great. I am so happy and my days are so full. How can I be so lucky?" I say it to my children, daily, and to the plumber, to the carpet cleaners and my care-givers, who know exactly the state of my health, as they bring me my meals,  help me in the shower and get me dressed.

     The fact of the matter is that I am unsteady on my feet, my back can be painful, at times. I do not have much stamina and I take an awful lot of medicine. I have a  pacemaker and stents and heart fibrillations and--- I feel wonderful. ( Do you think: maybe I am a little nutty?)

     Am I protesting too much?  I don't think so, because I do feel wonderful and I am content with my mostly-at-home life. There is something in my psyche that puts a chip on my shoulder;  subconsciously, I seem to have a need to prove what is obvious: a year ago I was at death's door.  I have lived a miracle, and how does a simple, ordinary ninety-year old lady, me, account for it all.

OMG, I say to myself. Of course, it is my God, my Father who art in heaven.


  1. Ever since I read "Designated Daughter", I have wanted you be be "okay". "Wonderful" is...well...wonderful! You and your daughter are an inspiration to me, and I'm sure to many others. As a designated daughter myself, I return to your inspiring book on a regular basis, and no matter what passage I read, often just a few sentences, I feel enlightened when I put the book down. Or, I've just laughed out loud. Or, I've just sighed along with you, because I know first-hand about some of your struggles. What a blessing! Thank you!

  2. Vicki, thank you for the lovely comment. I am just writing the blog for the joy of writing, and I figure no one is reading it. Maybe a few of my family. So what a lovely gift it is to me -- this comment from you. Thank you so much.

  3. What a wonderful gift that Vicki posted. We all have been inspired by "Designated Daughter" and we all want you to be "wonderful" Phyllis.