On Grandpa and Things That Don't Come Easy

It's a cold and rustly February night and I lie in bed. I am sandwiched between heating pads, swaddled in ivory flannel pajamas and a fleece throw. I wear glasses and my knees rest on two pillows. I hear the constant trickle of the fish aquarium and the fainter, distant hum of the bathroom fan. I still and concentrate. Other than occasional rumblings of traffic, this is all I hear. I've gone to bed early, a hip throbbing and a mind too busy for such tired eyes.

Today I got a cane.

I think about canes and I remember Grandpa Jim. I remember his cane propped here and there; hanging from the handle of the Safeway cart. But he was in his eighties. I am exactly half a century younger than he was when he died, six years and one day ago.

I miss him. I miss his Eeyore personality and his big knuckles. I miss our chats which were slow and speed-bumped. I would sit and know that there is value in things that don't come easy. I miss his world of blue.

So I am 32 and I own a cane. How to feel about that?

Is it necessary? No.
Will it allow me to be out more? Maybe.
Will it help my joints not take so much strain? Yes.

So it's a good thing then.

There is value in things that don't come easy.


  1. I'm sitting here in the studio weeping. The tears softly trickling down my cheeks for you and perhaps a little for me as well, knowing what I know and feeling it all. How I ache for your change when I read this. I've done the cane thing, the pride that must be given up in order to ease pain. Oh friend. I know it. I did it as a child and again as an adult. It is never easier, and it although I can offer the common, "It will all be better" words, I won't. I will just sit here and cry with you, hundreds of miles apart, but linked in the knowing. I've been praying all day for you, as you keep popping into my head, but dear heart...oh my. Hugs that are warmer than your heating pad.

  2. Oh friend, I am touched that you feel this so deeply. I was sure you would. But please don't cry for me. I CAN walk just fine without a cane, but now when my hips are flared, I can go out instead of staying home, and I can prevent more damage to my joints.

    Thank you for your friendship, sisterhood, for journeying with me.

  3. Wow. This is a powerful post to me. The beginning sounds so cozy until I think about the pain that moves around but never leaves you. And then the cane reminds you of your grandpa, but it puts things in Serious Perspective for me that you are half the age he was. On the one hand, the thought of you having a stabilizing tool which might help you be more mobile with less pain is a relief to me, but I know it must Mean so many things that I can't begin to comprehend. One thing I can tell you: I, and a certain little boy I know, will always think you are AWESOME, no matter what hardware you may need. We are life-long fans of you!

    I love all your words about your grandpa. The sentence that really grabs me is "I miss our chats which were slow and speed-bumped." What a great way to describe that process which I know so well in my own life!

    I also love "There is value in things that don't come easy." That is so true in so many ways. Thank you for this great post! Love you!!!

  4. Your words both haunt and uplift me. I'm remembering our Sara so fiercely right now, and how closely your grace matches the grace she always relied on. Your last sentence rang such truth and I needed to see those today... There is value in things that don't come easy... amen! Sending love and healing prayers your way!

  5. I'm so sorry. It is hard to give up some independence and lean on a tool that you would rather not have. I hope that it will be beneficial for you and make life just a little easier.

    "There is value in things that don't come easy." - so true.

  6. To be compared to Sara is an honor, and all I can think is that if our grace matches it's because it's all God's grace.

    Thinking of you this week, Vicky, as you go through your tests. <3

  7. Thank you so much for the life-long fan comment. How nice to know hardware has no bearing on how you see me.

    Thank you for the feedback on what parts of the post resonated with you. Thank you for reading.

  8. sweet sis-guin.as i read this i have tears because we are going thru this together but unlike you i can't walk without my cane and my wheelchair is becoming more of my helper.i use my cane in my home and down my ramp to the car then when i get out wherever i go i now use my wheelchair.i am just a little older then you.on the 16th i become 37.i watch as i slowly loose bits of me.my hands hurt and i now can barely hold a cup or a bowl.my mind no longer is young:i have trouble with reading,consitration,and my short tearm memory is all but gone.i watch as slowly my long tearm will go too.you are amazing sweet one.you have 2 beautiful girls who you are strong for.a wonderful understanding husband who crys in silence because he does not want to show you he is hurting for you.i know because mine does this.lots of love and gentle hugs as we go thru this painful journey together.

  9. Thank you, Colleen. We'll just keep waddling along together.


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