I'd like to say that I'll spare you the gory details, but that'd be a lie. There are lots of gory details. I want to say that it all began in December, when I had that surgery. OK, so it was only foot surgery and I'm fine now, but boy, was that rough. Six weeks on crutches! Then there was that nasty bout with the flu. Influenza! That's right, the real deal, the stuff that killed all those folks back in WWI.
Really. I'm dying.
I've still got a lingering cough, and my toe hurts. It pains me to reveal this, but I can't even wear normal shoes. No high heels, and not even my favorite clogs. It's misery, pure misery.
Yes, I'd like to say it started back in December, my demise that is , but the truth is it started long before that. About 43 years before that. Because, of course, like everybody else, I've been dying since day one.
We love to complain when we're sick, injured, or even just bored, don't we? We want everyone to share our sufferings. We're dying. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I uttered that actual phrase numerous times in the past couple of months. To my children, leave Mommy alone. I'm dying. To my husband, first thing in the morning, I'm dying. To my best friend, can you come over? I'm dying.
Of course it's all true. I really am dying. Wow.
We Catholics call them the Last Things: death, judgment, resurrection. Important concepts to be sure. Ones we'll all face someday. And since I really am dying, maybe I should give them a thought now and then.
I love to complain about the consequences of my fallen state (that nasty cough and painful toe, for instance) but I don't like to think about the real consequence that we'll all face one day. I will be dying one day, really and truly, and I must consider if the way I'm living reflects that reality.
It's Lent, a good time for this dying stuff. Instead of just dying with my annoying irritations, I should be "dying to self." Making some sacrifices. Doing good for others. Shutting up when I want to talk, stuff like that.
Next time I want to announce my mortality to the world, I hope I'll stop for a second to think what I'm really saying. I'm dying. So I better be serious about living. Damn serious.