I’ve stubbed my toe on the couch, end tables, walls, door jambs, appliances and even shoes. Once, I went floating down the Comal River with my brother and some of his friends, the end result causing me to have to wear sandals to work for a full week because of the sunburn on my feet. This was an office job. Speaking of the office, I mustn’t fail to mention all the paper cuts.
Growing up I would often suffer from migraine headaches, usually causing me to become sick. Later on in life alcohol would cause me to be sick, then lead to headaches. A hangover headache can be pretty severe all over, but especially behind the eyes.
In my advanced age I take naps regularly. Seldom do I come out of these midday slumbers unscathed. Crick in my neck? Yep. Stiff ankle? Sure thing. Frozen back? Why not. A pain in my knees and elbows that makes me wish they would fall off? Good. Night.
At the tinder age of twenty-one I developed kidney stones. It started with a slight discomfort, like I had to use the restroom. Over the next hour if moved from discomfort to totally unbearable. I ended up driving to my mom’s house and having her take me to the emergency room. Looking back it would’ve been quicker to go myself, but I’d never been through anything like this before. I couldn’t stand, sit or lie down, nothing made it better. It’s the worst pain I’d felt, up until then.
Pain is a tricky thing. It’s inevitable, necessary, essential, imminent and unavoidable. Pain isn’t always bad. Without pain we wouldn’t know what pleasure is. Every yin must have its yang. This doesn’t keep it from hurting us though. I could take all the instances of pain listed above and put them in order from least to worst, but the list wouldn’t be complete. Nothing would come out on top as The. Worst. Pain. That’s because The. Worst. Pain. is Love.
Love comes in all different shapes, sizes and categories. Here are some of my love-pains.
A grandfather who will never make the greatest tasting spaghetti sauce, ever again.
An aunt who is slipping further and further into dementia.
The brother who has PTSD, and knows it, but still might need some help.
A grandmother who will never comb and braid her very long, grey hair again.
The buddy who definitely has PTSD, and almost ended it all.
The girl who lived happily ever after, with someone else.
There are many more, too many to list. The thing is, I’m still here. I’m still alive, I’m still moving forward.
The pain hurts, but it passes.
As Shawn Mullins would say – Everything’s Gonna be Alright, Rockabye.
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