When one is dealing with intense physical pain, self-absorption can all too easily rule the roost. Throughout my experience with worsening arthritis, I have resolved—over and over—to fend off that sneaky state of mind. And today proved a solid example of why one needs to think of others as much as, if not sometimes more than oneself.

After a grueling morning (shoveling out after a snowstorm, in and out of post office, then a full grocery run, and then across a parking lot/tundra, and up 3 flights of stairs), I collapsed. Minutes later, I heard a message begin on my machine: My sister was calling to alert me that our mother was having disturbing, painful issues with her stomach.

Fortunately, her helper was on the ball, and we could feel confident that Mom was in good hands. As her health proxy, however, I realized with a start that my current condition renders me useless, should an emergency trip anywhere be necessary. 

So, that is where this moment finds me: More concerned for my mother’s well-being and peace of mind than anything else. My own pain, as tangibly physical and compromising as it is, must take a back seat to the worries about a 90-year-old woman, who happens to be my mother.

Thus, I have little to say about myself today: My thoughts and heart lie with Mom.

’Til tomorrow…

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