Another Year Determined

by Helen O’Dell

I was climbing the mountain, trying to reach the top. That was one hell of a tumble. Doctor says I am lucky to have not fallen the wrong way, because otherwise I’d be flat on my back forever, at one with the earth. My son Billy says I shouldn’t be doing this stuff at my age. I became sixty-five on that day. I am still fit, and besides it was a birthday gift to myself. It so happened that it did not go to plan. It sure as hell won’t stop me trying again. My grandson James brought me a peace lily and tulips to cheer me up, as if I need cheering up. He’s a good boy. I wish he would stop messing around on that motorcycle, otherwise he’d be one with the earth, and he’s too young for that. I will give him a talking to when he comes for a visit on Saturday. God, that ibuprofen makes me drowsy. I don’t like to take that stuff, but there is nothing I can do about it. If I didn’t take it the pain would be a nightmare. It’s a busted ankle, it could have been worse. I got to keep the cast on for a few months for it to heal. It’s a nice hospital. My room is bright. It doesn’t feel like a hospital, more like a retreat. I can hear the sea outside through the open window. It’s enticing me, encouraging me to play among its waves, to listen for its breathing. It is a fine day outside. I will be out in no time. Fifteen degrees, and it’s not even summer. There’s supposed to be a storm in a few days. How the weather changes. I hope I tied my boat good and tight, don’t want it to float away without me. Maybe I should ask the nurse to call Billy? He might be working? Better I leave him alone until after seven just to be safe. Reposing in this position numbs my backside. I have to wiggle a little for the blood to flow. It’s not so bad. Going to the bathroom can be a challenge. If I need to go, I press the buzzer and nurse Almeida is in in no time. I think she is Spanish? She is tanned and gracious. I tip my imaginary hat to this lady. It’s tough looking after people. My grandmother always said that it’s best to keep moving in life – keeps the body alive. I will never stop moving. When my ankle heals, I will go the mountain, and climb to the very top when I am another year older.

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